LI E) R.ARY
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A TALE OF THE WAR.
SECOND EDITION OF
THE PATRICIAN AT SEA.
In Three Volumes, Post Octavo, Price £1 lis. 6d.
'••Cavendish' is a novel of very considerable talent. There are many
scenes in it deserving high commendation. The author is a man of observ-
ation and talent, and what is mote, a staunch Reformer. He proposes a va-
riety of reforms, both in the body of his work, and in an appendix of sugges-
tions which are well worthy of the attention of the Admiralty." — Westminster
'• This work is making a good deal of stir in certain of the upper and pro-
fessional circles ; the talent of the author, under proper restraints, is far from
inconsiderable. He has also evidently mixed with the higher ranks in society,
and his book has some striking political matter to attract public attention ; in-
deed we are inclined to surmise (however improbable the supposition) that the
out-of-the-way form of a novel has been in this instance adopted to forward a
particular political purpose. We cannot too strongly recommend to general
notice the admirable notes in the third volume." — Literary Gazette.
" The chief object of the author seems to be to expose in a dramatic way,
the cruelties and oppressions practised with impunity in the British navy.
The story has the advantage of being simple and explicit. The author is a
clever man certainly." — The Athenceum.
" The author is a naval reformer, and has written his book not only with
the purpose of amusing his readers, but of procuring changes in the important
matter of ship government. The author is not without a talent for dramatic
dialogue, and for the exhibition of character, and he completely makes out
his case of tyranny, caprice, and oppression. The notes which close the third
volume are extremely judicious, and we hope that they may attract general
attention." — The Spectator.
" 'Cavendish' is a work that maybe considered siii generis. It is not a
novel— it is not a book of travels — it is not an auto-biography — it is not a po-
litical treatise, but it is all these in one. The author has all the characteristics
of a sailor in full perfection, and he displays them all in this singular work,
the merits and defects of which we shall leave to be discovered and appre-
ciated by that best method of all in the case of a work that will be generally
read." — Court Journal.
" We regard ' Cavendish' as a very clever work. He is a staunch Reformer,
whether of naval or general abuses. The account of the battle of Navarino
is an admirable picture."— TAe Courier.
A TALE OF THE WAR.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
IN THREE VOLUMES.
COCHRANE AND M^CRONE
11, WATERLOO PLACE, PALL MALL
TO HER HE J^GHT EE GENTLENESS: THE STERN •
HAVE DEEPER THOUGHTS THAN YCUR DULL EYES DISCERNJ
AND WHEN THEY LOVE, YOUR SMILERS GUESS NOT HOW,
BEATS THE STRONG HEART THOUGH LESS THE LIPS AVOW."
THE PORT ADMIRAL,
A TALE OF THE WAR.
'•' And thus as he called them by title and name,
They entered, and breakfast was served as they came. '
The Port Admiral now led the way into the
breakfast-room, the folding windows of which
opened upon the ten-ace. Here Croiser found the
breakfast party assembled, and after glancing his
eye round the old oak panneUing, on which hung
various family portraits by Sir Peter Lely and
Sir Joshua Reynolds, he was introduced to the
" This, Captain Croiser, is my sister. Lady Sap-
VOL. II. B
2 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
phira AfFectus — Auntie SafFy we call her — but
that's only for friends, seeing she doesn't like to
go by that tally."
" Sir Richard, don't be such a bore. — The Port
Admiral, Sir," turning to Croiser, " always seems
to think it necessary to enter into family details —
but we," drawing up her majestic person, " forgive
him these slight solecisms in consideration of the
constant society of sailor-captains in which he is
condemned to mix— as well as the want of that
accuracy and closeness of style which a mathe-
matical education "
" There, there, stopper Lady Saff, we want
none of your mathematics here, your Greek and
your Latin. It's enough for me to know plain
sailing, a dash of trigonometry and navigation,
and the nack of breaking an enemy's line —
none of your hick, heck, hock, and other three-
decker line o' battle words — taking an old
officer six months to get one out — your hypo-
thenuse of the triangle or whatever your rig-
marole may be. We want none of that, do we
Bombast, old Boy?" bestowing a hearty slap
of his hand on the shoulder of a mean little figure
A TALE OF THE WAR. 3
which quivered beneath its weight. Tlie little
oddity thus addressed, was a person under the
middle height, spare and meagre in figure, but
yet more shrivelled in countenance ; the latter
bearing that indefinable expression which we
always associate with an itinerant Methodist
preacher. The nose and hps prominent, the fore-
head receding, the eye half shut, and the mouth
drawn down, presented a character contemptible
to others, yet evidently one most satisfactory to
itself; while a vacant wonder-stricken appeai*ance
about the eye-brows bespoke that habit of ex-
aggeration which in reahty formed so great a part
of his character. To complete his personal at-
tractions, — he wore on his roimd shoulders an old
black coat, which, to judge by its loose and slo-
venly fit, might have come fi-om the bag of an old
clothes-man— duly shaken to give him the upper-
most. His trowsers and waistcoat might have
had the same origin, the latter being much stained
and the former tight at his feet — thence bulging
out into an immense bag at the hips to contain
his hands and anvbits of biscuit, crusts of bread —
old nails — pieces of minerals — odd stones, or
singular plants, gradually filling during their ex-
istence in his service, to be emptied only when
their tattered state condemned them to the bag of
a Solomon of lower note.
This interesting personage called himself a great
traveller, a greater author, and a captain in His
Majesty's navy to boot, and certainly never did
naval captain appear such a fright in plain clothes.
Though I must confess, however sorry for the
honour of the cloth, that the old regime of these
officers generally resembles that of bumbailiffs, or
retired Bow-street myrmidons, in apparel, more
than anything else.
But to proceed, this Captain Beatall Bombast
was once a midshipman under the Port Admiral,
and having been invited to spend a fortnight with
his old officer, he became so delighted with his
quarters, that he honoured them with a much
longer stay than had been at first contemplated^
until he seemed to have set himself down as a
domiciliated toady or hanger-on of the Admiral.
In this design, however, he was violently opjoosed
by the brother of the last officer, the chaplain of
the dock-yard, who, though somewhat cracked,
A TALE OF THE WAR. 5
had more than sufficient discernment to pierce the
character of Bombast, and deteimined by his
sturdy and relentless opposition to effect that
which the good-natured indolence of the Admiral
would not let him bring about — the ejectment of
the captain, and with it that of his fiiend Major
Puff — a yet more ignoble animal, whom he had
the impudence to ask on a risitto himself, hke the
Town mouse in Pope's fable.
The Major himself was, it was shrewdly sus-
pected, only a Ueutenant, but he boldly stuck out
for his majority in the militia, to vrhich redoubt-
able corps he belonged, and therefore it was as a
matter of comlesy awarded him ; but as to his
head-quarters or the county to which he belonged —
these were Httle topics which he deigned to men-
tion but rarely.
Having acquired some knowledge of the alpha-
bet in his youth, he now eked out the paltry- pit-
tance of his half-pay by murdering such " poor
devils of authors " as he could hurt or injure by
his silly remarks ; and edited a sort of periodical,
very famous as the organ of sundry old women in
6 THE rORT ADMIRAL,
the army and navy, as well as the actual sex in
Of these last, he was the " god among the small
fry" — " Wonderful Major Puff! How can he, at
his age f — Oh dear, it's quite charming to see how
he hobbles along !" said they, and for these " gra-
tifying voices" the wonderful Major honoured
them with his company to tea twice a week — and
returned the compliment twice a yeari when all
the deaf subalterns of marines and paralytic half-
pay Ueutenants of the navy congregated together
in the wonderful major's smoky apartment, to re-
count how implicitly they pinned their wonderful
behef on his wonderful productions, which, truth to
say, contained more wonders than the celebrated
"nine wonders of the world." Then would the won-
derful Major get up on his leg, — for I grieve to con-
fess that he possessed no more, — and make them a
speech to the best of his usually-much-fuddled
abihties; assuring them with a triumphant air,
that the " United Anchor and Blunderbuss
Journal had risen no less than ten numbers with-
in the short space of eighteen months," — then
A TALE OF THE WAR. /
came his proud determination ever to support it
with the same ability, and down he sat, saying : —
" But, gentlemen, we may yet be deceived, 'tis hard
to say how the cat will jump. — Alas 1 the chances
of war are often most disastrous." — A sigh follow-
ed, accompanied by a gentle stroke of his hand
along the wooden member which supported him,
leading the deluded hearers to suppose that he had
lost his leg in the capture of Quebec at least.
But alas ! no such thing, — a fortnight after his
being presented to the miUtia ensigncy, he went
out " for a day's spree" with one of his former
acquaintances, afoot-boy, and the latter, not relish-
ing the lately assumed superiority of his previous
equal, refused to pay the tavern score for their
beer, and accused the Wonderful Major of " spung-
ing on him all day";— hereupon they fought it
out with the readiest weapons, to wit, those of na-
ture's own providing, and the mihtary man re-
ceived a fracture of the leg which rendered imme-
diate amputation necessary. A dehcacy of senti-
ment always prevented the wonderful major from
dwelling on these minute details with any perspi-
cuity, although he would frequently lead the by-
8 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
staiiders to form high ideas of his martial achieve-
ments by some well-timed and distant allusion,
such as — " Those who have testified their patriot-
ism by the loss of a — a — very serious affair, sir,
I assure you," — and again, " There are misfor-
tunes to be met with in the service, sir, which no
pensions, however honourable, can make up to a
man. To think, gentlemen, what I have suffered !
— But men of merit don't dwell on these things —
they are left behind in those posthumous memoirs
which the world always demands of distinguished
During the time of his service, now long past,
he had once been ordered over to Ireland, but was
counteraianded by the time he had reached Cork.
As is often the case with exceedingly weak or silly
men, this transmigration from the place of his na-
tivity, formed an era in his life that was never for-
gotten, as the reader will see ; and from the mo-
ment he returned to his country quarters, the
wonders he had seen and experienced in his tra-
vels formed a never failing theme.
To proceed. Captain Beatall Bombast being ad-
dressed by the Admiral, felt rather at a loss between
A TALE OF THE WAR. 9
his wish to give the accustomed assent to all that
his superior said, and the dread which he enter-
tained of Lady Sapphira, whose tongue, let me
inform thee, Reader, was much more pleasant to
encounter on paper than in person.
" Why, truly, Admiral," he repUed with a strong
nasal accent, which still more confirmed the
stranger's prepossessions that he had at some
period of his life twanged under a hedge, " though
this is a most delicate point to determine, I should
opine that we officers are not required to have that
varied skill in accomplishments which the more
polished sex can boast. As you say, Sir Richard,
it is our pai't to guard our coimtry, whereas the
leisure enjoyed by the ladies cannot be better
employed than in devoting themselves tp those eru-
dite studies which do honour to human nature.
Now, sir, in the Longbow Islands this is the
" Wliere? Captain Bombast," inquired Lady
Affectus, somewhat soothed by his speech.
" In the Longbow Islands, Madam, — you'll find
it in my last book of travels — I was going to say,
that there, while all the men go hunting and fishing,
10 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
the ladies of the tribes stay at home and furtlier
the progress of hterature and the fine arts. "
" ' Literature and the fine arts,' Captain Bombast.
" Oh dear ! yes, Lady Sapphira, they've twelve
colleges and three universities — though to be sure
they never would let us see them."
" In — deed. Never knew — it. "
"Oh yes! Ma'am," said Major Puff, the
toadey's toadey, " a fact ; for when I was abroad
in Ireland "
" When he was ^ abroad in Ireland.' — What a
fool ! " broke forth from the stout but cynical looking
brother of the Port Admiral, the Rev. Nathaniel
Salisbury, who was sitting in a high-backed easy
chair, resting on his elbows and looking down on his
feet. The latter were placed in an inverted position,
that is, the toes were pointed inwards towards each
other, and the heels separated vice versa. Every
other second, the ball of each foot was alternately
hfted, and then suddenly struck on the carpet,
the heel itself remaining fixed as a pivot, by
which means the dust collected in the soling was
suddenly expelled by a small hole in the stitching,
A TALE OF THE WAR. 11
having the effect, on a pigmy scale, of a cannon
discharged from a ship's side ; while by moving
the members in different positions, the owner was
pleased to say it represented a frigate-action.
This new toy he had only found out within the last
week, and he therefore pursued its enjoyment with
all the fondness which man has for novelty, while
the cunning twinkle of insanity in his eye agreed in-
differently weU with such a singulai* amusement.
Among the many eccentric traits in his character,
the foremost was a habit of uttering his thoughts
aloud with such an absence of mind as to be
msensible to the effects produced on his hearers.
It was in one of these fits that he uttered his
opinion on the WonderM Major's incongruity,
who having always been accustomed to regsird his
journey to Ireland as a piece of foreign service,
had, by frequent repetition of the fact, got too
much into the habit of thus expressing himself
to get rid of it.
" ' Abroad in Ireland ' Sir ! " repeated the chaplain,
raising his head and addressing the other. "Do
you know what you talk about, Sir ? Ireland's a
part of Great Britain."
12 THE PORT ADMIRAL, j
" Stuff, Brother, it isn't that,'''' inten'upted
Lady Sapphira — ^never better pleased than when
" But I say it is that, my Lady Saffron — with
your stuff. "
" Pooh ! Sir, Pooh ! One can never differ from
you sailor people without your growing scurrilous."
" ' Scurrilous P You don't know what it means."
" Don't I indeed, Sir! — Then at least you ought
to do so, for you have enough of it on board a
" How can you tell, ma'am, any thing about
ships, you who take deuced good care never to go
nearer than half a mile to one ? "
^' No, indeed. I've no wish to be poisoned with
your horrid pitch, when I can leani all I want
from seeing you on shore, and books."
" ' Books' — there you go again, always hooks P
" Books, Sir ! yes. — ^Why to hear you talk, one
would think that you were educated in Kam-
schatka— that you had never read a page of the
divine TuUy, or a passage of the impassioned
" Well, that's more than one would tliink of
A TALE OF THE WAR. 13
" Pooh 1 I say again, one would think that you
knew not a classic from a cat, and had never stu-
died the hypothenuse of a right angled triangle
in your life. — Why don't you prove it? — you can't
prove it ; you sailor people can only assert a thing,
and then swear fifty oaths that it is so — you can't
prove it, I say."
" ' Prove it !' Yes, I can prove it."
" Stuff! no such thing."
" But I say I can."
" You know you can't ; or if you can — do it."
" Well, so I win — Now let me see, what was
" What — was — it — about?" repeated Lady Sap-
phira, trjdng to recoUect herself in vain. — " Well
truly, that's a pretty thing, to expect that /'m to
tell you what it was about ! — I want to hear you
prove it, that's what I'm to do."
" Well so I wiU, if you can say what it was."
*' ' Say what it was,^ indeed ! No, you're to
prove it, but you see you can't, and now you pre-
tend you don't know what it was about, — that
won't do for me — it may do for you sailor people
— ^but / see through it — you're beaten."
" ' Beaten !' No, I'm not beaten, Lady Saffron,
14 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
you know it. I see what it is, youVe forgot-
ten the starting point as well as I, but this is
always the way with you blue- stockings, you
pretend to what you know nothing about — you've
no more reason than Tom ColUns's cat, and
when it comes to the push, you get off through
your cunning — bother a fellow out of his what-
d'ye-call-it, and then cry out that you have
won the day; but I'll get to windward of you
yet. Miss Saifey, I will. Margiee dear," tiu:n-
ing to his favourite, " what was it we set out
" Why I fear, my dear uncle, that I have got some-
what entangled as well as yourself, but here — your
coffee is cooling, and if you w^ll drink this cup,
I'll endeavour to recollect in the meantime."
" Bravo — my hearties — ha, ha, hah ! Now that's
what I call a regular set-to — go it, Nat, — go it
Saffy— gun for gun and scorn all favours. But
come. Captain Croiser, though they may choose
to hold an argument in this manner, it's no
sort of reason that we should'nt get a bit of break-
fast. Chatty ! — Margiee ! — why holloa there, girls !
here's your knight-errant wants a seat !"
" Bring him here, Bunting, and if he'll promise
A TALE OF THE W.iE. 15
to behave himself, he shall sit between me and
" "WTiat is our guest's name r " inquired the
chaplain, eyeing him very steadily.
" Croiser, brother. Captain Croiser."
" Good name ; — Captain Croiser, happy to make
your acquaintance. My name, Sir, is the Rev. Na-
thaniel Salisbury. I have the honour to be tlie rec-
tor of Donomore, in the see of Dui'ham, presented
to me by my particular friend the Duke of Dare-
devil, whose scarf I also wear as private chaplain ;
they call me Master of Aits at Brazen Nose Col-
lege, Oxford, and chaplain to H. M. Dockyard,
at Plymouth. My principles, sir, are concise ; as
well in poUtics as in rehgion — 1 fear God and
honour the King"
" 'And curse the French,' say Nat.;" but the
clergyman took no notice of this inten-ujDtion from
his brother, and went on with his exposition which
he generally repeated to every stranger. " These
ai'e my nieces, sir, that is Charlotte, and this is
Margarita, or the pearl of the ocean."
" From the Greek word /t/a^yaj^ira," interrupted
16 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Come, my Lady Saffron, don't break into my
conversation in that manner. I suppose this is
what you call the closeness and polish of a ma-
" * Break in' — 'pack of nonsense, Brother, it's no
break in— I appeal to you. Captain Bombast."
" Why truly. Lady Sapphira, as far as my know-
ledge goes "
" That's a very short way ! " muttered the reve-
" Lady Sapphira, it is always permitted to every
one to enter into the conversation. For when I
was at the Longbow Islands, which every one ad-
mits to be one of the most pohshed of countries —
Do they not, major?"
" Oh yes, captain, I heard of nothing else during
the time I remained abroad at Cork."
" Exactly. — Well, my lady, at the Longbow
Islands the things as common as — as — you may
say as pea-soup, my Lady."
" * As pea-soup'? — Indeed — never — knew — it,"
drawled out her ladyship, who possessed two dis-
tinct moods, the hot and argumentative, and the im-
perturbable and affected ; in the foraier she poured
A TALE OF THE WAR. 17
forth a continued flow of high learning ; in the
latter a stiing of hard names with a lisp most ini-
"Pea-soup, eh! Captain Bombast? Well now
that's what I call a classical simile," retunied the
scholar of Brazen Nose.
" And why not, Sir ? " inquired I^ady Sapphira,
taking the part of her ally — " Why not pea-soup,
as weU as the res frumentaricd of the immortal
Julius, 1 should like you to tell me?" But in-
stead of replying to this question, the chaplain
turned to his brother the Admiral.
" I'U propose to you a riddle, Richard : Why
would Auntie Safiy be quite a catch to the govern-
ment washerwomen ? "
" 'Cause she's chock a block with hot water, I
" No — d'ye give it up ? "
" Well then, because she'd do for soap in one
water and blue bag in the next ? "
*' Now, Captain Bombast, is not tliis infamous ?
This is the way that a woman of learning is treat-
ed. As I said before, they can't answer our ar-
18 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
guments, and so they insult us ; but this comes of
their mixing with such quisquilice as are to be
found in the navy. — Now did you ever Captain
Bombast, did you ever meet with such conduct ? "
" Why, really. Lady Sapphira, I am happy to
say not often, for though I stayed a considerable
time at the Longbow Islands, as well as in the
revolted States of America until they " —
" Tumbled you into a ditch. Captain Bombast."
" * Tumbled me into a ditch,' Mr. Nathaniel, I
really am surprised ! I really wish. Sir, that you
could be more circumspect in what you advance."
" Why captain, can you pretend to deny it ?
" Can I pretend — why— truly — really I am
sure," — and the captain stretched forth his long
scraggy dark neck around which his neckcloth was
always as slovenly tied as if it had been a halter —
" how can you — or rather how could you ? — why
I am surprised you should ever have entertained
such an idea."
" ' Entertained such an idea !* Bless me ! I always
took it as granted for a fact, that one day for
something you had done contrary to their notions,
they had bundled you into a ditch or a horse-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 19
pond, I don't know which, and so you, to pay
them off, came home and wrote a book against
" Well, Ml*. Nathaniel, to think how men may
be calumniated ! But I really am surprised that
you should believe such a shocking report !"
" Yes, captain, very shocking, j)articularly if it
was cold weather ! Was it summer or \^*inter when
it happened ? No wonder you considered them so
rude and ill-bred after that ; but how was it. Cap-
tain, that you never put it dov^Ti in your book ? "
But the captain was far too cunning to criminate
himself, and he therefore pretended to be deeply
engaged in answering Lady Sapphira, assuring
her that in the Longbow Islands such cases of
ill treatment of the fair sex were very rai'e.
" Ah, sir!" responded her Ladyship, " I appre-
hend in those islands in which you have been so
fehcitously favoured as to roam, that they have no
navy in which to enclausate men until they be-
come thoroughly stultified."
In the interim, while these disputes had been
thus warmly carried on between these high belli-
gerent peirties, Croiser, whose feelings inclined
so THE PORT ADMIRAL,
him to a "\videly different path, had been saying
his best things, and paying his most assiduous
court to his nymphs of the morning, surrounded
and inspired by all the guardian sylphs of tea and
toast, Guava jelly, orange marmalade, curried
prawns, preserved pine, and the many other little
niceties that meet on a breakfast table. The
meal being over, the ladies dispersed to array
themselves for the excursion on the water, when
Lady Sapphira, despite her protestations against
the quisqiiilice to be found afloat, and the anger
she felt for the Reverend Nathaniel, determined
to be of the party, in which determination she
was followed by the marvellous Captain Bombast
and the wonderful Major Puff.
All things being ready, they set off through
the noble avenue of trees fronting the house, and
tm-ning off to the right, arrived at a low railing
which divided the sward of the park from the
smooth beach of Barn Pool. Opening the gate
reserved for the embarkation of the family and
their friends, they descended to a boat which
Croiser had ordered to be in waiting, and were
immediately rowed off to the little bark which
A TALE OP THE WAR. 21
was lying with her sails unfurled in readiness to
bear them where they pleased.
The Port Admiral having seen the last of tliem
on board, waved his hand with a " Fare ye well,
my hearties," and turned back to the house, say-
ing, to Margiee's repeated invitations to be of the
party, " Duty first, and play afterwards," a rule
to which he rigidly adhered, and now prepared to
cross the water to his official residence ; since he
merely occupied his present abode as a connexion
of the family during its absence.
22 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Will had promised his Sue that this voyage well ended
Should coil up his hopes, and he'd anchor on shore ;
His pockets well lined — why his life should he mended
The laws he had broken, he'd break them no more."
WILL WATCH THE BOLD SMUGGLER.
Leaving our friends on board to all the enjoyment
which awaited them, it is now, Reader, the pro-
vince of your historian to pass over the day spent
on the water when the party returned at night-
fall to sup with the old Flag Officer, as well as a
few of the succeeding hours, until about three
o'clock a7ite meridiem^ at which time Captain
Croiser was enjoying sound slumbers under the
venerable roof of his hospitable entertainer, and
the dim hazy light of a moonless morning fell on
the little schooner once more quietly at anchor
within Barn Pool. At this hour, so sacred to
A TALE OF THE WAR, 23
spirits emancipated from their bondage of clay,
a tall and well-proportioned figure issued silently
fi'om the thick glade encuxUng the western flank
of the castle, and pursued its way with stealthy
and noiseless steps along the rounded and open
waste, at the foot of which the building is si-
Presently a low bai'k was heard; the slight
rustling of the grass, heavy with night dew, ceased
as the figui'e paused — a low hissing whisper
arose upon the stillness of the night, the bai"k was
hushed, and the figure moved on once more with
quickened steps. As it passed along, the drowsy
deer started fi-om their broken sleep to gambol
away, and leave the vicinity of those unhallowed
footsteps which broke in upon their sacred re-
cesses. Presently the horizon revealed to view
the dark square outline of a church tower, crown-
ing the heights of Maker. Pausing as it ap-
proached the latter, the figui'e was seen to stretch
out an arm, first towards the sacred edifice and then
towards the sea, as if in the very act of summoning
" spirits fi-om the vasty deep ; " then, after a brief
pause, it struck off in that direction where the
. 24 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
waves of the latter were heard reverberating on
the kon-bound coast which opposed their pro-
Having arrived by a somewhat circuitous route
at the low paling that protected the deer from the
dangers of the precipice, a hand was thrust into
its breast, and then, as if satisfied with the result,
it slowly mounted the paling and disaj)peared gra-
dually in the gulf below.
After a cautious descent of some thirty feet
down the nigged and sinuous footpath leading to
the sea, the figure was once more seen to emerge
from the shadow of the cliff, and pursue its way
among the rocks at the bottom, where the waves
dashed gently on the shore. After following this
course for half a mile, and leaving the bounds of
the estate considerably behind, it paused before a
high bluff that jutted across the path, while on
its base the sea had left its marks at high tide.
At a height of some fifty feet from the ground
appeared a slight prominence, from whence grew
a quantity of brushwood, surrounding a low
ilex, whose thick cover of evergreen seemed to
have braved the tempest for many a winter. As
A TALE OF THE WAE. ^
the figure approached this spot, it stumbled over a
fi-agment of the broken rocks, when the rolUng
masses, severed in their descent, were heard
tumbhng into the water at a httle distance below.
" \Mio goes there ?" suddenly demanded a
hoarse voice, as the dim figure of some gigantic
being started up fi-om the ground. A dead pause
ensued ; a sudden click, as of a steel spring, was
heard on the side of the intruder, re-echoed on the
pfirt of the huge sentinel, whose large propoilions
were yet more increased by the haze of the morn-
" WTio goes there, I say ? You thief o' the
night, find a tongue — or here's into ye ! "
" A fiiend."
*'Then make sail and tip us the word."
At this invitation the first figure advanced, but
holding out something in his hand, which its faint
ghtter proved to be a pistol. "SATien within ten
yards he halted, and addressing the sentinel who
was similarly prepared for his reception, said, " It
is'nt in ^ sunshine ' is it : "
" Then is it ' moonshine .f* ' "
VOL. II. c
§^6 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" That we hate worse nor an exciseman."
" But a dull look-out and a misty morning ? "—
" Make our time of day."
Having satisfied themselves by this mysterious
dialogue that they knew one another's business, the
weapons of death were quickly returned to their
proper places of concealment about the person,
and extending hands to one another, the lesser
individual inquired, " What cheer, my hearty ? "
" Why, my cove, pretty bobbish, thank ye ! but
how is it that you're not here afore? Here 'tis
close upon the stroke o' seven bells in the middle
watch, and I've a been hanging on here, knocking
about ever since five bells. I can tell you Bo,
this here cold haze is very bad for a poor fellow's
vittalling office. But better late than never, so
let's bring-to here, and have a drop of something
As he said this, the sailor accommodated his
person on a fi'agment of rock, motioning for his
companion to take a seat beside him ; then thrust-
ing his hand into his rough coat, he pulled forth
a pewter bottle of a flat oval shape, which might
hold near three pints. Long usage seemed to
A TALE OF THE WAR. 27
have imparted to it the bright glow which the
sailor regarded with such reverence as he rubbed
it on his sleeve.
" That seems to be an old companion. "
" An ould companion ! You may say that, Bo !
This is my Castle-Rag Sal! Maybe you think
that's a rum name for a canteen to go by; but
the matter on't is this. When I was a younker, I
was spooney, or in love, as the land-lubbers call
it, after Sally Moffat, what hved on the Barbican
down yonder there, as we see in the bight o' the
harbour ; and Missis Sal taking into her head one
day when I was on a bit of a crusse to kick the
bucket, why ye see, she left me quite incontrou-
bable for her loss as ye may say ; and going to
Nan Pigget, who lived by forking* the King's
stores — God bless her! — Why I bought this
canteen — full of blue ruin, and called it after Sal
to invahdate her memory as the tombstone said.
For — shiver my timbers! — I was'nt going to be
stingy, and so I had a bit of a holy stone stuck
up in the churchyard: but the lubbers I see
♦ " Forking," that is, stealing them, or rather perhaps buy-
ing them, knowing the same to be stolen.
28 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
f other day, have been a shifting some o' the
bulk heads of the black barracks*, and Sal's stow-
age has been broken up. However ye see I've a
taken good care of this, seeing I fill it reg'lar fiv€
times a day — every eight bells — for her sake; till
now, bother me if I don't think I like it better than
Sal herself. Well here's to her health — the dear
creatures ! they're the salt o' life as ye may say, at
any time ; " and the seaman tossed off the ardent
spirits contained in the metal cup, which scremng
over the mouth of the canteen, answered the
double office of a cup and a cover.
" That's the true stuff, my Boy ! " said the last
comer, as he moved his lips after the manner of a
connoisseiu — he having been helped the first.
The other made no rej^ly, but refilling, projffered
the spirit again.
" No more, my lad, no more, thank ye, — though
the air is fi'esh for July," — and he pulled up his
cravat, to hide his features, while he attentively
scanned those of the sailor. — " A ^dram of that
might put life into a half-starved Greenland
* " Black barracks'" — sailor's name for a church.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 29
" Ay, aye, trust Tim for knowing the right
narrow tape of MjTiheer Schnapsh."
" Tim's your name, is it ? "
" But Tim what ? What other name d'ye bear on
the ship's books ? "
*' Ship's books !" inteiTupted the seaman, in a
somewhat savage tone, aiTesting the passage of
the spirit towards his lips. " What have I to do
with your man-o'-wai''s ship's books ? — Not I — it's
a fib — a He I was going to say," he added, in a
half laughing undertone of voice, while his eye
twinkled with intoxication.
" You mistake, old Boy, I didn't mean to call
you a man-of-war's man, if it's that ye dislike so
"Well, I do then!"
" Very well, my Hearty ; but I knew you be-
longed to that tight little craft there ; the raking
" How did you know that ?"
" Oh ! how did I know that ? I knew it well
enough, so I only asked you what your other name
80 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Why, my service-name, as you call it, is Tim
Tarpauline, only they call me ' Nine-fathom Tim '
" Well, that's a back-handed way of keeping a
reckoning too ! And what have you to do with
nine fathoms ?"
" Why ye see, ever since I bought Castle -Rag
Sal, here, I've never been sober, 'sept by some
infamal accident — that's to say sober as a church.
Once, I mind it well, and that was one of the
worst days that ever I saw in my life ; seeing that
I was upset in a boat 'long with five others, in
nine fathom water, off Cape Maccaroni, up the
Straits. Well, ye see, the other five were all
drowned, but as there was'nt enough water to
drown me, it only came up to my neck, and there
was I left shivering and shaking like, a foretaupsle
in the wind. I would have walked ashore, but I
knew the ground was all ups and downs, rocks
and shallows, and so, if I went to move, I might
have got into nine and a half, or may-be ten fa-
thom ; and then I should have been flumgus-
ticated ; for as to my swimming, at that time — and
more shame to me — 'twas like a pig of ballast —
A TALE OF THE WAR. 81
right to the bottom, though now, to be sure, it's
more like a cork, for I've had one or two hard
tries at it."
" Well, and how did ye get out of it r "
" Why, they come and pick me up at last, after
rd been there in the cold water for foiu: hours,
and so much of it soaked through me, that, chink
what spirit I will, I can't get it swabbed up again."
" No, so I should think !"
" Ay, aye, but it's no laughing matter, for ever
since that time I've never been able to keep any
warmth in my feet — all flies to my head ! To be
sure, I take lots of the true stuff, both Xantz and
Schnapps, and I've had the very best advice for it,
but Lor' ! it's no manner o' use that I sees : so here's
to your joUy good health I " and down went dram
the third. This finished, ' Sal ' was returned to
her resting^ place, and her owner got up, and
taking a few paces, whUe he flapped his long
arms, hke an albatross does its wings, he resumed
his seat once more.
'* Well you seem to have an easy time of it
aboard that craft ; with notliing to do but lay at
your kiflick in harbour." The sailor tmned round,
32 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
and fixing his lowering and rather ill-natured glance
on the questioner, seemed to be scrutinizing the
motive which induced such an inquiry. Not
tracing any thing to raise his suspicions, his grim
features relaxed into a smile, as he turned his head
away, and dangling his feet, replied,
" Yes, yes, my Boy, weVe a pretty easy time,
thanks be to our skipper, and as I get, so I givCj
seeing I'm his first mate."
"The devil you are!"
" You may say that, and not be so much sur-
prised after all."
" And what do ye do all day ? "
" Oh ! little odds and ends ; ye see I generally
turns out some where about seven bells in the
middle watch, (half past three,) and I comes up on
deck, and I looks round about me and sees it's a
bit disky, and so I takes a drop of something
short, and turns in till eight bells. Well, then ye
see, having dozed half an hour, I turns out on deck
again, and giving a squint about me, I sees still
'tis a little bit disky, so I take a drop again, and
turns in till two bells. Well, two bells struck, I
turn out once more, and taking another squint
A TALE OF THE WAR. 33
about me, I see the diskiness is pretty nigh gone
off, and the sun's beginning to rise thereaway in
the east, or it may be east and a leetel bit sou' ; so
seeing as how that's the case, I takes a drop just
to wish him a good morning as it may be, and
then I'm up for all the day."
" Ah my Boy ? This is when it's a disky morn-
ing. Now suppose it is'nt a disky morning, wliat
d'ye do then ?
" Umph! — why — then — let me see! — why then
— come dang it, that's a bit of a pauler," rubbing his
head, " why then old chap I do — -just the same."
" Well, come, my Hearty, that's honest ! and if
you have it all your own way, why what can ye
wish for more ?"
" Hah ! Come belay there — that's a bold word.
To be sure I've a tight berth of it, but still when
it comes to wishing, I think I could wish for
" Well, come now, suppose you were to have
a wish, what would ye ask for ? "
" Ask for ? Why — Let me see, I hardly think
either, when it comes to the push. — What do I
want particular ? Should I have Sal back again
$4 THE PORT ABMIRAL,
— but no, though that's no go, cause she^s dead
poor creetur ! — One of the deef uns that won't
answer to her muster, though the clerk of the
cheque bawls as loud as a boatswain in a white
squall. — No, that won't gee — so what shall I
have ? I've just got a fresh supply of Snapsch
in, I an't near run out o' pigtail yet — I sha'nt
be hard up for soap for six months to come, and
I've lots of ingans! (onions.) — What shall I
" Come, Master Nine-Fathom-Tim, you're
not so hardly off as you think."
" 'Vast heaving ! Now I think of it, I'd wish
myself ould Sir Dicky Saltbeny, the Port Ad-
" The devil you would ! " exclaimed the other,
somewhat quickly. " What would you wish your-
self the Port Admiral for ? "
" ' What for ? ' Why don't ye see he can get
swipy* 'pon duty without so much as being
logged down in the report; much less brought to the
gangway! Now, that's what / calls having a snug
berth of it!"
* ' Swipy ' — Anglice-~~Xv^9Y — three cloths in the wind.
A TALE OF THE WAK. 35
« And is that aU?"
" 'Air — no ! That chap lives a roarin' life of it,
and smuggles ! Lof ! they tell me he smuggles
like a good 'un."
" Pooh ! " retiurned the other with a pettish tone
of voice, " you mustn't beUeve all the trash you
heai*. The Port Admiral smuggle r Do you think
the Port Admiral would dare to smuggle ? I have
heai-d he's a ver\^ strict officer, and, faith, I beheve
" Well, and who said he wasn't a smart officer ?
The old boy may be smart enough, and hke to do
a httle business by starhght yet ! Now I dare say
the old chap would have no objection to some
dozen ankers of this stuff here," taking another
dram — " All I can say is, if-so-be he would'nt,
why, he's no judge of licker ! "
** 'Liquor!' Why those great Dons never drink
any thing else but wine ? "
"'Wine!' Whish, don't they? tlien I pities
'em ! none o' your Admirals for me ! — But how-
somever, Pve heard Sir Dicky's a gallows old boy ;
and if-so-be that be the case, why I wish he was
here for his sake ! "
36 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
A suppressed smile was visible on the face of
the other, at this remark, as he turned towai'ds
the sea, where some object engaged his attention.
" Here they come at last ! " he exclaimed.
" Ay, aye, here we have them at last, sure
enough. Mister Demck's rather behind time:
it's close upon eight bells ! '*
An ordinary spectator might have strained his
eyes for some time, without discerning the object
to which the attention of the sailors had been
drawn, and which long experience alone enabled
them to perceive. Soon, however, the measured
splash of oars became faintly audible ; and in a few
minutes the indistinct form of a large lugger ap-
peared in sight. Her sails having been taken
down, she was now rowed ashore with muffled
At a Httle distance from the place where our
friend Nine-fathom Tim had been seated, the im-
mense masses of rock which time had gradually
tumbled down from the cliff, had formed them-
selves into a little basin with a narrow outlet
towards the sea, the inside being protected from
* ' Sweeps,' large and heavy oars.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 37
the waves, which in windy weather spent their
fiiry in lashing the rude barrier of stone around.
Into this small but secure haven the lugger was
now steered; and to the uninitiated eye of the
landsman, every part of her hull above water was
seen to be entirely white.
" Now, my lads — in oars, in oars, and out "^-ith
your killick ! " said a rough voice proceeding from
Obedient to these orders, tlie sweeps were laid in-
board, and a very large and heavy stone, secured
to her bow by a rope, having been dropped over-
board, the vessel brought up at her moorings, and
the crew leaped on the adjacent rocks, still
some two feet under water. This, however, was
no inconvenience to them, since their feet and legs
were protected by rough leather boots, proof to
the water and reaching nearly up to their loins.
The captain, or as he styled himself " Honest
Joe Denick," was the last who left his bark, say-
ing " Here ! T\Tiich o' ye's more like a horse than
a thief? 'Cause he'd better 'way aloft there and
give the signal."
" Ay, aye," answered one of the subordinate
seamen, making his way towards the bluff already
Having arrived close to its base, the sailor picked
up a small pebble, and succeeded in flinging it
with as little force as possible into the ilex tree
growing above. A shrill clear whistle as of some
bird was heard in reply ; and in a few minutes a
rope was let down. Passing the end under his
arms, the seaman knotted it securely round his
body, and was then seen to ascend gradually into
the shade of the ilex tree, within the hollow of
the boughs of which he disappeared. Landing
on this point of the cliff, he found his companion
who had drawn him up by the aid of a rude wind-
lass, and they now crept on their hands and knees
through a low hole that seemingly led into the bow-
els of the rock. After proceeding for two or three
yards, they entered a square chamber, where na-
ture had received some slight assistance and em-
bellishments from art it is true, but the joint efforts
of both had failed to produce any thing very com-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 39
The natural chill of such a subterranean abode
was but poorly diminished by the pan of glo\^4ng
charcoal, whose iumes proved suffocating and
sickly after the fresh air outside. This first soon
opened into a second, which by the candle held
in the iron head of a boat-hook stuck in the wall,
was seen to be a dormitor>', where six rude bed-
places had been cut in the rocky sides, and filled
with the aromatic leaves of the Stitsa; the tere-
binthous odour of which, is poison to all the insect
and reptile tribes.
Between these two chambers ran a harrow pas-
sage terminating in a flight of steps; the last
passed over the first chamber in a diagonal direc-
tion, and found then* way to the hght at some
four feet immediately beneath the brink of the
precipice, to gain a safe footing on the top of
which required a firm heart and steady hand. This
exit would have appeared from above a mere fox's
hole to the eye of a stranger ; and even had he
known the whole truth, six men could have main-
tained their position within, against as many hun-
dred from without.
Hastily pursuing their way up this rude stair-
case, the tenant of these cells and the sailor
gained the summit. Very few minutes had elapsed
before the silence of the morning was broken by
the neighing of a horse — thrice it was heard to
rise and die away among the heath-covered hills
around, succeeded immediately by the crowing of
a cock. After an interval of some seconds, the
neigh seemed to be caught up again in the dis-
tance, and yet the interval elapsed precluded the
idea of its being an echo ; scarcely had this ceased
when the ear recognized a similar sound still far-
ther off— again and again, until it fau'ly melted
into the far space beyond.
" Come, Bill, the lads are all ready, jump down
below and hand us up the tackle and spar," said
the sailor to the other, betraying the secret, that
this imitation of the lower orders of the creation
was only a device by one portion of human beings
to deceive another. Being thus reminded of what
he had to do, he who supplied ' the cock's shrill
clarion' descended once more to his cavern, while
the other waited near its mouth.
Presently a band of some fifty men came run-
ning down to the point, wai'ned by the signal
A TALE OF THE WAPw 41
that their presence was required. They were
mostly habited in the coarse smock-frocks of the
peasantry, while some wore a more nautical form
of dress; but in all, the silent and methodical
mode in which they proceeded to work, proved
that such occupations were not new to them. In
a few minutes a stout rope was handed up to them
from the cavity beneath, and then a long pole was
gradually launched over the steep face of the
precipice. As one end of it was made fast to the
rope, they proceeded to drag it up a few feet in-
land of the brink, where grew the tiiink of a black
pine, whose branches had been severed by the
lightning. Around the very base of this tree was
passed a double gi-ummet, or lasliing, constiTicted
for the purpose, which received the heel of the
spar and acted as a pivot, while the other end
projecting over the cHff was attached to the head
of the tree by strong ropes some ten feet in
length. This end was also fitted with pulleys
and a tackle that descended to the shore below.
Long as this temporary crane takes to describe to
a landsman, it required in the hands of seamen
but a few minutes for its erection.
42 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Now, my men," said the sailor, " some dozen
of you stand by to run away with the fall — the
rest stand off in two and two to pass along the
creature." Obedient to the word of command, the
men separated on the instant that the crane had
been erected; twelve of them taking the end of
the tackle in their hands, and a slight jerk being
given to the ropes from below as a signal that
they were to hoist, they all ran quickly inland
until the goods were pulled up to the farther
point of the spar, now swung round by a gilguy,
or slack rope, attached to it. The precious freight
was then disengaged to be handed from man to
man into the interior of the country with won-
derful rapidity, and the tackle lowered below for
more ; this precious freight, consisting of French
brandy with alternate ankers of Dutch Schnapps ;
so pure that — by his own confession — more ex-
quisite was never sipped even by the fastidious
To descend, however, once more to the scene
below. Skipper Derrick, having first conversed
with the lesser smuggler of our acquaintance, and
set his boat's crew to work in the task of unlading
A TALE OF THE WAR. 43
their lugger, he approached the Patagonian, say-
ing, "Well, Nine-fathom Tim, what have you
brought this turn ? "
" As prime a cargo as ever you wish to see;
some of the finest Brushall toggery as ever a
Duchess had on her back. "
" Well done old boy ! I hope you've brought us
a sample of it. "
" Ay, aye 1 here's sample enough, " continued
Tim in his gruff phlegmatie voice, and rising
from his seat, he began slowly to strip off his pea
jacket, then his waistcoat, and lastly his Guernsey
frock, saying, "Here my lad, lend a hand to
unfi-ap a fellow."
" Ay, aye ! " responded Derrick, taking in his
hand the end of what appeai-ed to be a broad
band of linen, wrapping the robust form of the
" Are you fast ? " demanded Tim.
" All fast, away you go, Tim ! " No sooner did
he receive this intimation than his huge carcass
was seen to spin round Hke a teetotum, unfolding
at every turn a yard of the broad swathing, which
in reahty contained the finest lace, folded closely
44 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
for the purpose. When Tim had thus disburdened
himself of many a fold, he appeared in a great
degree to have lost that plump obesity of figure,
that before distinguished him.
" Why now Master Nine-fathom, they'll be
asking you where you've managed to leave behind
you all your calipee ? "
" Gallipee, old boy. My fat, if you mean that,
is a sort o' shifting ballast that goes here or there.
So lend us a fist to make a fresh stowage. "
" Holloa ! why what have we got here ? " in-
quired his brother tar, looking at the canvass belt
which the other took up from beside him, and
now proceeded to wind round his waist, to make
up, as he said, the loss of the lace.
"Why that's my shifting ballast, I tell ye;
lend me a hand to get it on."
Tliis finished, his clothes were put on once
more, and he resumed his usual appearance.
While these matters were going on between our
friends the dram-drinkers, the lesser one of whom
appeared to have little to do save look on, the
skipper had been busily employed with his crew ;
and in the course of a quarter of an hour from the
A TALE OF THE WAR. 45
time of the lugger's arrival, every drop of spirit
had been hoisted up the cliff and dispersed from
thence through the country.
" No sooner had the last anker been taken out
of the boat, than six of her men taking as many
brooms from her stem sheets, set to work scrub-
bing her hull, which in a few seconds was divested
of tlie hme that had been used to whiten it, and
now appeared with its original coating of black,
the other being employed from its enabhng them
to escape the eye at sea.
" Now my lads, stand by to jump in and shove
off," said the captain to liis men, and then going
up to the looker-on, he walked aside with him.
Scarcely had they opened their Hps, when the
sound of nmning footsteps in the direction of
Cawsand awakened the captain's attention. —
" Hark ! " he exclaimed.
" I hear nothing, Derrick," repHed the other,
putting his hand up to the organ, whose extreme
sensitiveness had been somewhat dulled by the
roar of many actions. " Yes — is it — Aye, as I
may keep my feet from the bilboes, here are the
land-sharks 1 " continued Derrick, apostrophising
46 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
himself and interpreting the sounds with a quick-
ness that fi-equent hazard had cultivated. Forget-
ting in his anxiety for his boat and crew, the
safety of the person with whom he was talking,
he leaped towards the sea, exclaiming in an ele-
vated whisper, " Boys, to your boat ! the blun-
derbuss sharks are down upon us ! here come the
Quick as chickens fly from the appearance of a
hawk, did the smugglers hasten pell-mell into their
lugger, with the exception of Nine-fathom Tim
and the other sailor, neither of whom fully com-
prehended the danger.
" On, on, my men ! Now's your time for a
prize ! " was heard the voice of the custom-house
officer, urging his people to secure the smugglers
before they could effect a retreat in their bark, the
sound of whose oars they now heard.
" What's the rout, you Nine-fathom there ?
What's the rout?" bawled his late boon-companion,
bounding over the rocks that separated him
from his fellow in distress.
" Matter ! why, sink their hulls, here are sojers
come down from the Custom-house."
A TALE OF THE WAR. 47
" Save us and bless us ! then we're caught as
sure as my name's Dick ."
" Caught ! Ay that ye will be, if ye Ue-to there
like a dogger in a calm ! Bear-a-hand for your
life ! Here they come !" as he said this, the heads
of their assailants became visible, in clambering
over a high ridge of rocks close at hand, while
just behind them, the day bursting in the east,
threw its vivid glare so as to make the intervening
objects doubly distinct.
Bestowing many imprecations on the souls
and bodies of these interlopers, the lesser sailor
skipped along for his life towards him of the Nine-
fathoms, at the same time wondering how their
dehverance was to be acliieved, and giving himself
up for lost.
" Here, my boy ! Here ! make sail. Give us your
flipper," said Tim, seizing his comrade's hand,
and then clasping him with both arms roimd the
waist, he grasped the end of the tackle that still
hung down from above, gave it a pull to attract
the attention of his friends aloft, and sang out,
" Pull up !"
" There they are," cried the Custom-house of-
48 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
ficer, attracted towards them by this sound.
" Down with them, my lads 1 Secure the rascals,
every head's a prize — Follow me ! Stop, you vil-
lains, stop, in the name of the ting !" added the
incensed and disappointed officer, as he beheld
our two friends quickly ascend into the air, closely
conjoined as though they were one flesh. He was
within three yards, when they thus eluded him ; and
there he stood with mouth agape, scarcely able to
comprehend what he now witnessed. Not so, one
of his men, for his eye having caught the end
of the rude crane above, he levelled his piece
" Oht, seize it ! " cried the lesser sailor, singing
out as the ball struck him.
" What Bo ! Have the villains pinked you ?"
inquired Tim, kindly, endeavouring to hold the
writhing form of the other in his arms.
" Oh J bless us and save us! — the rascals ! slap
in the stem-post, by the • Oh !"
" Cheer up, ould chap ! Well it's no worse. I
dare say you'll get over it ; but hold on ! The
blackguards are going to have another crack at
A TALE OF THE WAR. 49
" Cease firing ! We don't come here to murder
men, either," said the officer below, on recovering
his senses, and beholding a second man in the act
of taking a dehberate aim at the ' ranishing quan-
tities ' above. " Here, stand from under, I
shouldn't be surprised if one of them did'nt come
down yet, for some bird was wing'd." This au-
gury, however, proved untrue, and Tim having
held tight, they were both swung in, and safely
" Now, my lads," said the latter, " they chaps
can't be up here for half an hoiu", do how they
will, so down with that derrick* and tackle, stow it
away snug for the time, and then make ofi" every
mother's son of ye!— How are ye, shipmate?
Are ye ready to heave a-head } We must stand by
for a iiin!'
" ' Run ' ! the rascals have shivered my stem-
post ! ' Run ! I couldn't make a knot an hour of it
— the villains ! I'm regularly— No, no, this is a
dry-dock business, I fear ! here Bo', lend us your
" As sure as I love Sal," returned the other,
* ' Derrick,' a technical term for a sort of crane.
VOL. IL D
50 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
"this is a bad business! Here, old Cove, since they
sharks have damaged your back, you must go
snacks with mine. You take the shoulders, and
I'll keep the rest." And according to this gene-
rous division, Tim bent his nine-fathom body to
the earth on his knee, when after some little diffi-
culty and many interjections, in which frequent
mention of the stern-post was interpolated, the
twain set off; appearing as if the gigantic statue
of Carlo Borromeo, in the plain near Lago Mag-
giore had got under w^eigh, rather than like any
thing of human flesh and blood ; while their late
assistants in the illicit transactions of the night,
crowded together in a body, and made the best of
their way onwards.
They had proceeded about a mile, and were just
passing a road that lay in their route, when they
met a fat little personage on a mule, jogging along
in an agreeable non compos mentis state, and
singing as well as his hiccups would allow him,
the then modern song of " We are na fu', we're
no that fu'."
" Hurrah !" cried some of the men, pulling the
tinfortunate man off his mule. "Here's Joe Tibbet,
the exciseman, the rascal ! ten to one but he set
A TALE OF THE WAR. 51
those blackguards on the scent, to come and inter-
rupt a man in an honest job. WTiat d'ye say ? I
Tote we pay him for it."
" Pay him ! pay the gauging rascal out for it,"
shouted one and all.
" I assure you, my dear fellows, — ^hiccup — upon
the honour, my dear gentlemen, of an exciseman,
I exsm-e you — hiccup — twas'nt I. " I am na
fu', I'm no' that fu'." It was in vain, however,
that the man of measures protested. Nine fathom
Tim was called on to give his opinion, but lo 1
neither Tim Tarpaulin nor his friend were
present ! they had been dropped behind, and
the ciy ai-ose that they had fallen into the hands
of the Philistines. This only contributed to hasten
the fate of the unfortunate ganger, since, after a
consultation of a few minutes, they bound him
hand and foot, and conveyed him up the steep
liill on the opposite side of the road to that by
which they had arrived.
Fright had now cured his hiccups, and in some
measure restored his senses, but though he bawled
lustily, he failed to make out a case to their satis-
faction, and was therefore doomed to suffer. On
arriving at the crown of the hill, one of the party,
52 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
a seaman, who in conjunction with many of the
rest had been drinking too freely, cut a stout
saphng, some four feet in length. This done, he
approached the prisoner, who had been allowed
to sit on the ground, and who unconscious of what
awaited him, had, as the easiest position,di'awn up
his knees to his mouth, and put his fettered arms
over them, while on the former he leaned his head
and bewailed his cruel captivity. Springing on
his prey in this the most desirable of all positions
to his persecutors, the sailor thrust the stake under
the joints of the ganger's knees, thus pinioning his
arms beneath the sapling, so that the sufferer could
not extricate them. A lashing having secured the
stick from slipping, the victim was pronounced to
" Here, my boys, let's take him to a crumby
part," said his inebriated tormentors, lifting the
screaming exciseman, and carrying him to the
highest point of the hill, where nearly the whole
descent to the road forming the centre of the ra-
vine below, was covered with furze.
" Now, old Chap, we wish you a pleasant walk
back," and putting him on his side, they gave the
body a roll to impel its career, when away it went
A TALE OF THE WAK. 53
down the steep declivity, bound after bound, as the
ashen point came in contact \\dth the ground, and
then, by its phabihty, flew oflf with increased velo-
city; while at every turn the shrieks of their
victim grew less distinct as they were borne away
upon the morning breeze, that came sweeping up
the hill all freshly from the sea, and scented with
the blossoms of the furze.
" There he goes, reckyshaying like a long
twenty -four shot !"
'' Ay, he squeals liko a dying pig at Christ-
" Now half-a-pint Jack, whether he fetches the
bottom or brings up all standing half-way ?"
*' I say, biing up."
^' I say, no," — The last voice was right, for with
a final bound the body cleared the brink of the
hill, and was lost to sight among the thick
branches of thorn that overhung the road. The
smugglers just stayed to witness this consummation,
and then with an inhuman shout, they speeded
off, nor heard the indistinct groans that struggUng
on the air, seemed to announce the fate of the un-
Let us now return to our friend Timothy Tar-
54 THE POUT ADMIRAL,
paulin, of nine-fathom notoriety, whom we left,
like a second ^neas, bearing an aged friend from
the battle. At first Tim strided on very rapidly,
but the other sailor cried out, " Save us, ship-
mate! do try and ride your seas less heavily,
for my stern-post is terribly shaken, and — Oh
dear, those rascals ! — talking of stem-posts, puts
one in mind of an old story — ' Vast heaving there !
gently Bd ! ge7itly ! every jolter you make is like
a shi]} bilging on a coral reef — well, as I was
going — Port, Bo\ port! or we shall he hard and
fast on fur ze -hush ; so — thafs he— to tell ye
when I was a wee younker, a piccaninnie, some
three feet nothing in height, I sailed with old
Admiral Valourous — I dare say you have heard
of old Bill Timorous as they used to call him,
who never did right by accident ? "
" Ay, aye. Bo', IVe hard o' the ould Griffin."
" Well, as soon as ever the look-out hailed ' a
sail in sight,' old Bill used to get his glass out
and take a peep at the stranger; if it looked like
an enemy he turned to the captain, ^ Shorten sail.
Sir! Shorten sail! We must guard the safety o'
the ship, the sternpost's loose — Shorten sail, Sir ! '
Billy never was in action in his life, except once,
A TALE OF THE WAR. 55
when th^y ran him up alongside a ship in the
night-time without his knowing any thing about
it ; for which he swore he'd bring them all to a
court martial ; but as she turned out to be a prize,
and struck after the first broadside, he thought
't was better to say no more about it. But holloa!
the other fellows are off; and they've left us where
the little boat was," exclaimed Tim, discoveiing
that his comrades had outstripped him.
" Never mind, old Boy, we can get aboard your
bark through these grounds, as she's lying off
Barn-Pool. You can hail for a boat ; so now up
with your helm, hai'd a port 1 "
"Well! come, we can bear up for that, whe-
ther or no!" rephed Tiin, following liis instnic-
Having anived at the park palings and sur-
mounted them, the less statured sailor acted as
the guide of Tim, until they reached a labpinth
of paths, which terminated in an arbour ; here
the guide confessed he had lost liis way, and de-
siring Tim to remain stationary, lest they should
become more involved, while he hobbled off to
look for the right path, our wounded friend ma-
naged to drag his limbs after him in an oj^posite
56 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
direction ; for lie now found out that he was not so
seriously hurt as he had at first apprehended.
Instead, however, of returning to his comrade
in waiting, he continued on his course with all
the haste he could make, until he arrived at the
castle; when taking a key from his pocket, he
admitted himself as silently as possible into the
building, and securing the door behind him, stole
up to his apartment.
Having reached the latter and locked himself
in, he hobbled cautiously up to the bed-side. A
clinking sound pronounced him to be. an-anging
the tinder-box — he struck — ignited a match — a
wax candle stood at hand— he lighted the wick,
then taking off his hat and handkerchief, that
muffling round his neck concealed his lower fea-
tures, the quickening beams would have displayed
to the astonished spectator, — had one been present
< — no less a person than — Sir Richard Salisbury,
the Port Admiral.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 57
" No more— no more, I will away,
Or else this charmed heart will prove
How fatal is each fond delay
Near that fair form I madly love.
Yes love ! and O 'twere heavenly bliss,
But for its sister twin — Despair."
As the heavy bell of the castle tolled eight, Croiser
descended from his dressing-room, and passing
through the saloon laid out for breakfast, stepped
forth on the eastern terrace to enjoy the fragiance
of its parterre ; fanned, as it was, by the fresh
breezes of the ocean.
Turn where he might, not a cloud was seen to
dim the pure azure of the firmament ; the glorious
orb of Hght held on his course in untarnished
splendour, leaving beneath him on the vast circle
of the horizon, that pleasing haze where the neu-
58 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
tral tints of night and tlie warmer hues of day-
are so dehcately blended.
" We shall have a hot noon," he muttered as he
observed this, and then stood mutely gazing, to
drink in the glorious prospect that burst upon his
eye. In addition to much of the scene that he
had before contemplated from the ruined tower,
he now beheld on his right hand the noble avenue
of elm and oak trees, from among the branches of
which there gleamed forth on either side the tur-
retted lodges that formed the entrance to the
domain. The front of the castle faced this vista,
and as Croiser looked down through it from his
elevated site, he beheld the w^aters of the harbour
bounding the park, their opposite side surmounted
by the town of Dock, above the spires of which,
the reader will remember, rose the tors of Dart-
moor — forming a blue setting to this lovely pic-
ture of nature, that made its young admirer
sigh, and recall with much emotion those sunnier
climes in which part of his days had been passed.
" Oh that azure belt of distant mountains ! Am
I in England — or am I not still gazing from the
ramparts of ?" — he checked his half-uttered
soliloquy; then added in a more subdued tone of
A TALE OF THE WAR* 59
voice, " "What a chequered destiny my few years
can shew ! " Slowly he turned his head like one
who loves to revel in these the luxmies of our
conmion parent, when his eye suddenly caught
an object that left all inanimate competitors for
his attention far behind.
It was the gi'aceful figure of Margarita. The
morning breeze had called a little more than her
usual colour to her cheek, while the dew it yet
contained, shghtly dishevelled her hair and added
a dash of freedom to her loveliness.
" Yesterday I scarcely imagined that she could
have looked more enchanting under any circum-
stances, but — " thought Croiser, while the pal-
pitation of his heart filled up the sentence more
tiTily than any words.
" Allow me to wish you a good morning," said
he, hastening to her side ; — but she heard him not
— her beautifidly proportioned aim, leant on an
Italian vase — in her other hand she held a freshly
pulled bouquet — thoughtfulness and pleasure min-
gled in Ker countenance, where the elevated eye-
brow betrayed the airy dreams of happiness in
which the delighted spirit was indulging. " Surely
it was from some form of native grace like this,
60 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
that Hogarth took his Line of Beauty ! " thought
Croiser, admiring her attitude with the devotion
which mortals are fabled to have felt on unexpect-
edly encountering some exquisite divinity. " Dream
on, bright spirit! Drink of the only nectar life has
yet discovered ! Too soon will such ecstasies fade
far, far beyond your recal ! / will not be the sa-
crilegious wretch to annul one instant of them.
Alas how soon they fly ! " and the gloom settling
on his countenance bespoke his fears that they had
already passed from him for ever ! The last feehng
was not allowed however to predominate long.
Watching the direction of her eyes, they were
seen to be fixed on the delicate little spars of his
own schooner, barely visible as they peered above
the foliage of the forest. Did he by any happy
chance at present mingle in her reveries ? Deli-
cious thought ! — that seemed to elevate him above
himself by merely coming in contact with one so
unsullied; then, with that hopelessness of what
we most desire, he deemed it too gratifying an
idea to be correct. At this instant she turned —
uttered a faint exclamation of surprise at seeing
him, and let the flowers drop from her hand.
" Allow me to pick them up for you," said
A TALE OF THE WaR. 61
lie, busying himself in the pleasing tast, while
Margarita murmured some sounds intended to
be an apology. As he gave them back to her,
she turned her head aside with a look half fright-
ened and half angry, scarcely returning an answer
to the httle compUments which he uttered. One
less accustomed to her dehcate sex, less versed in
interpreting the trifles by which their inmost feel-
ings ai'e manifested, might have set this down to
displeasure, and have read in the averted coun*
tenance, timid eye, and consti'ained manners of
the lady, an unequivocal expression of dishke.
Not so with Croiser; he had studied woman too
deeply — too devotedly; he had pored over every
precious page which her nature unfolds as a de-
hghtftd exposition of the most exquisite problem
of his God. Not a glance — not a breath was lost
upon him ; and as he interpreted those symptoms
aright, a delicious glow of pleasure seemed to arise
within his breast, mingled with doubt as to the
manner in which he could have raised such an
interest, and increduhty as to his powers of dis-
cernment — so soon may our judgement be waq^ed
where self is concerned; but in no case sooner
than in matters of the heart.
62 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
With what cleHght did he for the first few mi-
nutes of their interview stand and gaze on that
lovely countenance, marking the rise and fall of
the roseate blush that bespoke her confusion and
his triumph ! He was as yet without the vortex,
and could still therefore contemplate its whirl, and
specidate on the varied action of its currents; not
long however was he allowed to retain the cool-
ness necessary for such an observation. Soft and
dreamy as was the expression of her full delicate
eyes, the warm bright glances of youth still slum-
bered in their recesses, and ill at ease as .Margiee
evidently was, her truant looks would not altogether
be subdued, but seemed to wander, despite of her,
to the countenance at her side. Then vanished
all tlie self-possession which but the moment be-
fore had given him the power of scrutinizing his
companion's feelings. The proud, determined orb
that drooped scarcely less than her own, and the
faltering tongue which language for the first time
deserted, now warned him of the fascination
tlu*own around him, as promptly but not so effect-
ually as the sense of oppression which came
over him, as well as the gush of pleasure which
the heart seemed to send forth with every pulse of
A TALE OF THE WAR. 63
its vital current. Both felt the propriety of speak-
ing, without the power of utterance. Croiser was
the first to recover himself, but his words were
wanting in the eloquent flow with which they were
" Is — perhaps — that is — I scarcely think you
have completed youi* bouquet — I fear I interrupted
you — do allow me to gather some jnore ."
" No ! I thank you — you are very kind — I be-
heve they are all here — yes, I picked u^) the
whole of those that fell."
'• Are there any others which I can add, to
your collection?" and Croiser moved on before,
as the surest method of recovering the self-pos-
session of both.
Margarita made some indistinct reply, to the ef-
fect that she " imagined she had gathered the best
already, but if Captain Croiser could find any
better for her to give to the Port Admiral, then
she would thank him."
" You are right," softly returned Croiser, sur-
veying tlie parterre; " the fairest flower of these
lands is already your father's — though I fear you
are not the person who can fomi any adequate
idea of its value."
614 - THE PORT ADMlRALj
" Where ? " demanded Margiee in surprise, ex-
amining her bouquet. Then looking at him, she
discerned the latent meaning of his speech, as
the change on her countenance proclaimed. " I
fancy, Captain Croiser, that in France, where you
confess to have been so lately, they teach some-
thing more beside those acquirements attained
in our simple schools— how to veil a compliment,
" I grant it, they do," he replied, " but only to
those whose beauty is equalled by their wit, since
the dull w^ould be unable to unravel it, and those
without attractions unable to inspire it."
" FHrting with the Quakeress ! by all the ' slings
and arrows of outrageous Cupid ! ' " said a laugh-
ing voice from behind, while Croiser felt two
hands placed over his eyes, by some Hght being
who rested on his shoulders.
" They say, fair Janitor," replied the blinded
officer, " that the eyes can sometimes outstrip the
lips in language — the lips, however, are avenged,
since they can perform an office to which no eye-
lids -are equal. I wish that the latter were, for
then, trust me but mine should be avenged for
their present indignity."
A TALE OF THE WAR. 65
" The lips are scarcely less rebellious than the
eyes — I love justice, so I shall punish both," re-
moving one hand, and preventing his further
utterance, in defiance of the threat, whose execu-
tion seemed to afflict her but very little. " This
is too bad of you, Margiee, to come down and
flirt ^\-ith my chevalier, after my having de-
clared my intention of having him all to myself.
I understand now, why you made such haste to
dress this morning, and wouldn't wait for me to
come down stairs : a very pretty hour for an ap-
pointment this ! "
" Charlotte ! I wonder that your giddiness out-
runs your discretion so largely."
" Nay, now, Margiee, don't be angry with me !
it would only have shown your taste — for to tell
you the truth, I myself should have been very
happy of such an opportunity ; but alas !
' Nor suitor, nor a swain have I,
The cause I'll no diWne ;
If 'tis a faut, I'll still deny —
The faut's nae faut o' mine.' "
Singing this old distich with much untaught me-
lody. Chatty clasped her more sentimental sister
by tlie waist, and in an instant were waltzing
66 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
round the time-worn sim-dial, two of the bright-
est ephemera that ever yet disported in Apollo's
" Can such beings indeed fade? and resolve
into the dust on which we tread?" demanded
Croiser of himself, losing in that mournful re-
membrance of our nature, all the bliss of such a
" Dearest Chatty, let me pause ! " cried Marga-
rita, obliged to give in.
" Yes, you shall, love," replied Charlotte, ar-
resting her rapid whirl and impressing on the
pure brow of her younger sister " that humid seal
of soft affection" which bespoke them twin in
hearts as in birth. " Come, my knight-errant,
since it is your duty to succour all distressed
damsels by strength of arms, pr'ythee lend us thy
elbows, for now, it seems, Margiee's head is as
giddy as mine. Where did you leam to give a
lady your arm? You do it well; now tell me
who taught you ? "
Fortunately for Croiser, before he had time to
answer these questions, the wonderful Militia
Major Puff made his appearance, hopping along
on his timber-toe, and making such a hole in the
A TALE OF THE WAE. 67
gravelled walks at every two or three steps, that
one would have imagined him hired to ti'ansplant
cabbages (did these flourish in such a soil) by my
defimct friend, General Stewart, of the Scottish
" A fine morning to you, Ladies ; a very fine
morning to you. Well, I declai'e, you've actually
been out before breakfast ! Where may you have
" On an immense journey, I assure you. Major !
We've just been abroad in Ireland and a most dis-
turbed state it's in — and are only now on our re-
tmii. I desii'e that you'll put oiu- amval at full
length in the United Anchor and Blunderbuss
Journal. I engage to pay all extra expenses
and correct the spelling and bad grammar."
« ReaUy, Miss."
" Nay, ^lajor, never trouble yourself to apolo-
gize for the insufficiency of your education, we
all know that follows as a matter of course \^ith
' military men.' "
" Fine day, Miss ! Very fine day, Miss !" was
the nasal salutation of Captain Bombast, who next
approached, " Where may you have been, Miss,
this fine mgming ? "
68 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Oh dear ! Captain, we're tired beyond all pa-
tience, we've just returned from the Long-bow
" What, Miss ?" said the Captain astonished.
" I say we've just^come from the Long-bow Is-
lands, where we met your father and left him upon
the shore sighing for White Horse Cellar and a
piece of bread and butter."*
" Ugh ! Ugh ! eh — ehem, a very fine morn-
ing this. Major Puff!" resumed the great traveller,
now turning to his friend, much chagiined.
" A beautiful morning — I may say a very beau-
tiful morning, CajDtain Bombast," replied the won-
derful Major, while Charlotte tripped along to the
breakfast-parlour, leaving the antiquated bores
behind her, to enjoy their never-failing anodyne
in such cases — mutual condolence and mutual
" Where is the Port Admiral ? " was the univer-
sal inquiry at the breakfast-table. The servant
announced that his master had got out of bed
during the night and hurt his back ; in conse-
• For a solution of this and several other allusions, T must
irefer the Reader to the marvellous captain's book of travels
which is, or was, or will be published.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 69
quence of which his jolly visage was not to be
visible until the hour of dinner, which inten-al
he intended to dedicate to resting himself. He
however begged to assure Margiee " that his ap-
petite was undiminished, and requested she would
give him a full allowance."
Having seen to this order, and sent the servant
on before with a sufficient supply of jelly, marr
malade, toast, eggs, ham, coffee, &c., as an inva-
lid might want, she presently paid the old officer
a visit in person, to assure herself that he had not
diminished his aiUngs in the report sent down.
Breakfast being finished, Croiser repaii'ed to
the billiard-room with Charlotte, when, having lost
sundry rubbers to his fair antagonist, they were
joined by Margarita, who proposed a stroll through
the gi'ounds till the houi' of dinner. In the coiuse
of their walk, Charlotte explained to Croiser that
Sir Richard Salisbury was about to give a grand
naval dinner to all his junior officers, from which
"Bunting-main" had insisted on excluding all the
females of the family, very much to the annoyance
of Charlotte, who felt anything but pleased at
losing this opportunity of making sundry con^
quests among the sons of Neptune.
70 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" It is SO horrid of Papa," she continued, " to
have all those rough creatures dining together.
However, there is this consolation, it will be very
stupid ! So you see. Captain Croiser, if you
like to dine with all these "
" Thank you — I feel no very gTeat deshe to
have my ears split by four or five hours of in-
cessant talking on corned pork, salt junk, banyan
days, pursers' books, water stowage, ballast, g-uns,
and prize-money, and so Ladies, if you could make
room for an unworthy "
" Knight at our table — am I right ?" .
" Exactly so."
" Well, now thou art a good creature ! I like
you for that. And as for those sea-bears with
old Captain Wheezey at their head, I do declare
I will be even with them ! "
Among the many marked traits so conspicuous
in Charlotte's character, none were more evident
than a love of what she called " fun," which
evinced itself in numberless practical tricks and
manual jokes, doubtless very amusing to herself
and the spectators, but often annoying to the
objects of their ridicule, and not unfrequently
o?ial a 2Jropos in their results. It was one of these
A TALE OF THE WAR. 71
that she had now detennmed to play off in return for
her exclusion from the xldmiral's dinner party.
And in the prosecution of this httle scheme,
Fortune favoured her by throwing in her way, on
the very day when the dinner was given, the cox-
swain of Commodore Wheezey. This officer was
her utter aversion, he was a great tyrant, and far
more hideous than many shapes which Sin puts
on for our temptation. He was one of the party,
and his ship was lying at anchor in the Soimd.
The commanding officer on boai'd having sud-
denly perceived a strange sail in the offing, pre-
pared to get under weigh in chase, and as the
first step sent the said coxswain to acquaint his
Commodore with the fact, in order that he might
come on board. Charlotte happening to meet
this sailor on the lawn, put some money into
his hand, and sent him back to the tavern at the
landing-place to wait the coming of his superior ;
desiring him at the same time to treat his men
to some spirits, then, without the loss of another
instant, she hunied off from the spot where this
rencontre took place, to the room where the ban-
quet was at its zenith.
The meal itself had not long been finished,
72 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
but the sen^ants had withdrawn, and the babel
of the wine-cup was attended with sufficient noise
to prevent any shghter sound from being heard.
Making the most of her opportunity, Charlotte
with the utmost caution turned the key on the
revellers, and extricating it from the lock, made
off without delay to such a spot in the grounds
as she deemed safe from all pursuit. The con-
ftision of the party, on discovering the situation
in which they were placed, and the consterna-
tion of the Commodore, on hearing the signal
guns from the ship, can easily be imagined. The
junior division of the party seemed far fr-om cha-
grined, but the seniors gravely shook their heads
while Sir Richard himself was in a quandary —
whether to frown or smile. They were at length
released by the labours of the smith; the ladies
received them with due surprise, the Admiral
chided and Charlotte protested, but after that
night the former never gave a party without
taking care that the female staflf should be duly
In the meanwhile, Croiser, released from
the sad monotony of being at sea, gave himself
up without the shghtest restraint to the delights
A TALE OF THE WAR. 73
around him, and enjoyed in the society of the
gifted but placid Margarita, a happiness that had
long been unknown to him, a happiness that
bid fair to detach him from all beside. But the
time had at length anived when he found it
imperative on him to depart. "To-mori'ow,"
said he, awaking from the reverie in which he
had been pacing his chamber before retiring to
rest — " to-morrow I must — I will end this de-
lusion ; once at sea, and this weakness will leave
me. And yet," he added, seating himself at his
toilette, and leaning his forehead on his hand,
*' how poorly will all my schemes of ambition
repay me for the sacrifice ! ^Miat dull aching
at my heart is this ? I am unnerved. Were I
only free to choose ? Were I not in his power,
were I imcompromised in honour — I would have
happiness of a different cast ! In such a retreat
as this, with such a form to clasp to my lonely
bosom ! Exquisite happiness ! No schemes, how-
ever gigantic, can make up to me for its loss!
Shall I abandon them ? " — suddenly starting from
his position and pacing the room once more.
" Would to Heaven that I could !" Croiser paused ;
and leaning his aims on the mantel piece, he
VOL. II. E
74 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
gazed long and earnestly at the little miniature
portrait of a fair young girl which seemed, by the
accumulated dust on the frame, to have hung in
its present position undisturbed for years.
" Dear epitome of innocence and beauty ! " he
continued, apostrophising the senseless semblance
of her whose influence he now felt so deeply, " if
my heart were as calm as yours, I might yet re-
nounce the phantom for the reality, and if not
great, at least be happy ! Yet how foolishly I
reason ! What do I seek as the end of all this am-
bitious struggle? Is it revenge ? Alas, I have seen
the effects of that ! Is it aggrandizement ? Poor
Fool ! that is the empty breath of fellow worms.
Shall I sacrifice every substantial comfort for the
shadowy adulations of those who will then be beneath
me ! Is it then moral greatness which I endeavour to
attain ? What ! Expose myself to the cutting blasts
of envy and ingratitude — the deceits of falsehood —
the snares of hollow and designing friends — placing
a barrier between myself and all the kindlier of-
fices of my fellow-creatures and voluntarily shar-
ing the fate of those from whom all sympathy and
sincerity are shut out? Surely I have been de-
ceived — this cannot be the meteor whose track I
A TALE OF THE WAR. 75
had proposed to follow — the bubble whose pur-
suits now call on me to leave behind content-
ment and domestic bliss ? Let me awake be-
fore it is too late ! Is not the end of life to be
happy ? Without a doubt ! Then can I hesitate
between the imaginary feUcity of successful am-
bition, and the possession of one as devoted as
myself? Yet is she as devoted ? How do I
know it ? Is not this vanity ? Am I not pledged
— bound in honom:? Is it not weak to waver
for an instant ? Compromised as I am, I ^ill go
thi-ough with it, I have forsworn those failings of
the heart, which can subdue natures less stem
than mine. I do, I do feel the sacrifice, fair
Cherub, and thus I wear it ! " pressing the minia-
ture to his hps. " And had it been yet gi'eater tJian
it is, I would have sustained it rather than endure
a stigma on what is more sacred to me than my
life or even my love — I will go, dear shadow ! I
will go — to-morrow ! I will look on your dear
original once more, and then leave for ever one
who can tempt me to forget every thing except her-
self. Had I but never seen her ! Yet regret is a
useless grief, as the deed is done, this shall serve
as a memento of one dehghtful era of my life, as
76 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
well as of the sacrifice I have made for him. I
have forsworn the weaknesses of humanity, and I
will keep my oath, be the price what it may. I'll
think of her no more 1 "
While uttering these words, Croiser unfastened
the ivory miniature fi'om its frame, and hanging
the latter in its place, once more pored long
and ardently on the former ; then putting it
away very carefully in his note-case, with a
lock of hair which once belonged to the same
fair owner, and which had likewise been taken
without her knowledge, he extinguished his can-
dles and sought repose.
Alas Humanity ! How often is a resolution
broken, even in the same breath in which it is
made; for while Croiser strained every faculty to
contemplate only those visions of pride, ambition,
and glory, which he had so long nourished, the de-
licate form of Margarita seemed to hover around
him, and he started up to fold to his tortured bo-
som the fleeting phantom which he was not
allowed to possess, yet vainly endeavom-ed to
banish! Gradually her soft image became more
and more impalpable — now he was sighing at her
feet, now her hand was clasped in his, and then
A TALE OF THE WAPw 77
his head was pillowed on her shoulder — Raptur-
ously he gazed on her hght hazel eve, until its
drooping hd gradually closed over the expressive
orb within, and slumber fell upon his soul, bring-
ing in its train those foretastes of fehcity which
only inexperienced youth can know.
'* I saw thy pulse's maddening play,
Wild send thee pleasure's devious way,
Misled by fancy's meteor ray,
By passion driv'n ;
But yet the light that led astray,
Was light from Heav'n."
We will now pass to the chamber of the sisters,
who never having been separated, viewed in each
other, only a less intimate portion of self. The
room was large and lofty ; on the polished oak
pannels of the wainscotted walls were seen in high
relief the various quarterings and emblazonry of
the family arms, while here a mailed head of some
chief renowned in fields of blood, together with
the more delicate features of some fair lady for whom
perhaps ensanguined streams had flowed in days
bygone, were interspersed with sundry little battle-
pieces, where the most prominent figures were dis-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 79
tinctly visible from the light which fell on them,
while the back-grounds remained in gloom.
The night wind which was rising, sighed heavily
among the turrets of the old building, as it swept
around in numerous eddies, and its sounds were
echoed and multiplied in the large chimney, now
no longer wanted for its original purpose, but
closed at its lower aperture, where the pohshed
brass dogs for supporting the wood fire remained
alone on the spacious granite hearth. The fire-
place, which alone would have admitted a man to
stand upright in it, was surmounted by a high
sculptured mantel, over which was the bust of a
former lord carved in oak and large as life. The
features were in profile, and the head was pro-
tected by a plumed casque. As the rays of the
caudles fell on the high cheek-bone, the promi-
nent eye-ball, and aquihne nose, it almost seemed
as if the grim chief had been restored fi-om the
grave, and contemplated with no little sternness
and severity the peaceful purpose to which his
ancient armoury had been turned.
How such ligneous gentry may feel, I will not
pretend to determine, but had his hero's heart
been made of flesh, even of such callous flesh as
80 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
we meet with in these modem times, he could not
but have smiled in rapture on the fair occupants
of his former magazine, and hav^e acknowledged
in their eyes, weapons far more resistless in their
execution, nor less subduing than the spears, ar-
rows, and cross-bow bolts with which it had been
stored in his own day. Saving the marks which
I have mentioned, the thick walls with their nar-
row, high, and embrazure-like windows, little was
left that bespoke the former use of the apartment.
A carpet from the looms of Persia covered the
polished oak floor, and rendered inaudible by its
thick shaggy pile the fairy footsteps that tripped
over it. The rest of the furniture, while it bespoke
comfort and elegance, was yet in strict keeping
with the room. Between the gothic windows stood
the toilette, supporting a large mirror, beside the
carved and gilded frame of which burned the
candles ; around were ranged in the most scrupulous
neatness, sundry brushes, combs, and perfumes,
with many other little nicknacks, the very order so
evident among which, at once proclaimed the sex
of the owners ; independent of the delicate being
who sat opposite in one of the high backed chairs
of the Elizabethan century.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 81
Her dark hair had been loosened from every
confinement, and while one hand was seen ghtter-
ing through the profusion of its glossy locks, dis-
entangling some rebel curl which was no sooner
released than it sprung back into its former
convolutions, the other held a httle figure of
porcelain, the inscription on the base of which
pronounced it to be Napoleon Buonaparte, First
Consul of the French repubhc. Bemg hollow, it
was filled with one of those dehcious perfiimes for
which our Parisian fiiends are so justlv celebrated.
As Margarita inhaled the dehghtful odour, she
raised her eye to the mirror opposite. Her hair
parting in the middle of her forehead, fell down
on either side, and while it increased the oval
shape of her features, seemed by the contrast to
take away even the slight shade of colour which
generally played upon her cheek, leaving it pure
as the snowy veil of Chimborazo. Her counte-
nance still more touchingly displayed its usual
expression, where the romance of youth mingled
with the warm yet plaintive softness so character-
istic of the Beauties of Erin ; she being connected
with that rich land by her motlier's side. Well
82 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
might one say of her in the words of the blind
bard of Paradise,
" Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye,
In every gesture dignity and love ! "
She appeared to start at the palHd hues thus re-
flected, and sighed — that long suppressed sigh
which seems to steal involuntarily from the hearts
of those with whom a shade of melancholy is a
"Well! and what art thou sighing about?"
inquired Chatty in a gay tone of voice, and de-
sisting from her amusement of whirling round the
room, she approached her sister, then put her arm
round Margarita's neck, leant over the chair, and
affectionately kissed her forehead.
"Sighing? did I sigh. Chatty?"
" Sigh ? yes : you're as mournful as an owl in
an ivytod, as Honest Jamie would say. And
now I think of it, I do believe you ai'e in love, so
make room for me on your knee and let me see. "
"'Love!' Charlotte? I am surprised to hear
you talking of such nonsense to me; you know I
leave that to you^ " replied the younger twin, giving
A TALE OF THE WAR. 83
to her sister the seat she desired, while the latter
laying her head back on Margiee's shoulder and
embracing her yet more closely, proceeded to gain
the desired information by a species of eduction
denominated — if my remembrance of these little
matters serve me correctly — coaxing. In this,
however, not the shghtest feehng of art or guile
was mixed up. On the contrary, these caresses
were the spontaneous effusions of a family love
which they inherited fi*om the amiable old Admiral,
and which was as beautiful as it is rare.
" AVhat have you here ? My Napoleon —
Croiser's present ! Tell me, Margiee ! Is it not
Croiser of whom you were thinking?" Mai'ga-
rita was silent. An answer was however unneces-
sary ; her confused look and the sudden suffusion
of her cheek betrayed the truth.
" How silly of you, Charlotte ! I wish you were
less fond of bantering. "
" AVhat then! do you not really care about
him?" inquired the elder twin with a look of
" I am surprised to think you can entertain
such a thought! What! a stranger whose birth
g4 THE POIiT ADMIRAL,
and family — whose occupation even, is unknown
to us! Nay more — after being our guest for a
fortnight, he still shuns all approaches to such
a knowledge, and wears a mask of the greatest
mystery. How giddy of you to suppose such
" Well well ! I'm glad you don't love him —
because / do. So now 1 shall have him all to
" Of what jest will you tell me next ? "
" ' Jest ! ' dear Margiee ! 1 am in determined
earnest, I assure you ; — why not ? "
Margiee turned her head slightly so as to meet
her sister's eye, and then rephed, " Are you po-
sitively not joking, Charlotte?"
" Positively I am wo^ joking."
" Then you ought to be ashamed of acting such
a coquette's part, when you know how devotedly
attached Lord Falconer is to you, and when you are
aware that you have held out considerable hopes
both to captain Fairfax and his cousin Sefton."
"Oh! as to Colonel Sefton, he's an intolerable
puppy, and it's only fair to mortify him."
" And Captain Fairfax — what of him ? "
A TALE OF THE WAR. 85
" WTiy the wretch is so ugly and so bearish,
that it was a great piece of presumption in him to
have any hopes at all."
" Fie Charlotte ! But even gi'anting these paltry
excuses for having gratified your love of conquest,
what can you m-ge against young Falconer, as
accomphshed and handsome as he is amiable ? "
"Pooh! all a pack of stuff. 'Urge?' ^\Tiy
has he not quarrelled wdth me r "
" Nay : I should rather think it must have been
you who quaiTelled with Jiim : but granting the con-
trary, I know that he has ample reason ; for who
that has any affection for you, can see you canying
on a flirtation with ever\' one around, and not be
grieved at your thus maning the many noble
qualities so conspicuous in you ! "
" Now ! what a horrid prude are you Margiee !
Will you never be kind enough to spare me these
continual lectures ? I think that you might do so,
considering that I am yom' elder sister, and "
" Ought therefore to know better. "
" Nay then, my Lady-Pearl, since you are so de-
sirous of retiie\'ing my errors, suppose you make
it up to the poor swain yomself. I'U tmTi over
to you all right and interest in this handsome.
86 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
amiable, and accomplished young noble, and
may you be Lady Falconer next month ! "
" Many thanks, but the match will not exactly
suit — for two very sufficient reasons; the first —
because I do not yet feel myself reduced to the
alternative of accepting the refusals even of my
brilliant sister, and the next, because, unhke
herself, I am not — unfortunately — one of those
butterflies who flit from flower to flower."
"Very good!" retorted Charlotte, rising rather
piqued. " Henceforth you shall be known as a
perfect Lady Constant; your Adonis need dread
no change nor shade of variation from one so true.
How happy will he be! I really must take it
upon myself to apprise him of it — this Captain —
What's his name — Croiser? Which do you say
he is — a spy or a smuggler ? Truly a respectable
gentleman-ruffian ! Far preferable to an amiable,
handsome, and accomplished lord. Surely I had
not considered his lofty rank when I aspired to
his love ! Well Margarita, your advice was kind,
very kmd, seeing that you have an eye to him-
self. Truly you must have a great regard for him,
when even his gifts to another are so dear to you
as it seems that figure of Napoleon is! How
A TALE OP THE WAE. 87
shameful to lavish his offerings on me and yet
present none to the * ladye of his love!' Nay! do
not put my Napoleon down, allow me to request
your acceptance of it." And as Charlotte thus
concluded, she proffered the figure of Buonaparte
which contained the scent to Margarita, who had
just replaced it on the toilette.
The latter merely waved her hand as if to reje<:t
it, while she repHed with great coolness, unlock-
ing a drawer in her toilette-table and displaying a
little French box of polished satin-wood, " Your
unusually kind offer has been rendered unneces-
sary by the ' gentleman -rufiian' himself, who very
kindly gave me this present the day after you
received your own — perhaps you would hke to
examine it ? "
Oh certainly ! " replied Charlotte, very much
surprised, while she endeavoiued to hide her vex-
ation under the mask of her usual levity. " Well
I declare — one, two, foiu, five, six, different
scents — pommade VArcole — huile de VEgypte —
rouge rosee — a perfect toilette in miniature !
And so he thinks you want a little rouge, does
he ? " Charlotte pronounced the last phrase
88 THE POET ADMIRAL,
with a tantalizing tone of pleasure, as she drew
forth the gilded little book, on the back of which
the name of this feminine abomination was written.
— " ' Rouge rosee'' — doubtless very fine ! Certes, he
must already contemplate your charms, heighten-
ed by a delicate couleur de rose^'' she continued
in her bantering tone ; when opening the book
she appeared to read something that suddenly
rendered her even more pallid than her sister,
and bursting into tears as she availed herself of
the nearest seat, she exclaimed, " Margarita, you
have shamefully deceived me ! I could not have
expected this at your hands !"
" Nay, dearest Love, you wrong me, indeed you
do ! " quickly rephed Margiee, her gathering dis-
pleasure instantly dissolving before her sister's
grief. " What could make you imagine it for a
moment ?" taking up the fatal object, of the exist-
ence of which she had hitherto been unaware,
and was therefore at first annoyed at the hint
which, according to Charlotte's interpretation, was
conveyed by it. To her confusion, she beheld
that the leaves of the cosmetic itself had been
cut out, and in their place a piece of writing
A TALE OF THE WAR. 89
paper had been inserted, bearing the following
lines in Croiser's hand :— -
" Hence ! vile cosmetic, and reserve for age,
The withering splendours of your crimson page !
To that fair cheek no charms could'st thou impart,
"Where nature shames the brightest hues of art.
There the peari'd ore — the madder's vermil lake •
Must mar the loveliness they seek to make.
Thy merest touch would taint that perfect whole,
Whose pure complexion speaks a purer soul."
" On my honour, Charlotte, I was ignorant of
these Hnes until this moment !" said Margarita.
After a sHght pause, " "SMiat would you wish me
to do ? Shall I send them back r "
" No, oh no ! " sobbed the other, " it's no use to
do that. I have no right to dictate to you whether
you shall repel or receive the advances of any
one! And surely he has a right to please him-
• The cosmetic, sold under the name of Pearl powder, is, I be-
lieve, a preparation of zinc or bismuth, while the rouge itself not
unfrequently is made of madder root. My Reader may wonder
how I should know so much about it ; but will she be pleased to
recollect that I am a very old man, and one to whom these things
are permitted, in the words of Pope,
*' One wouldn't sure look ugly when one's dead —
And— Betty give this cheek a little red."
90 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" But consider, Charlotte, he might have meant
nothing by these silly lines — further than a casual
" But tell me. Love," resumed Charlotte after a
pause, " do you not really care for him ? "
" As a guest and a gentleman, Charlotte, I re-
spect him, and should be sorry to hear of any-
thing befalling him. But as to my entertaining
any deeper feeling for him, the thing — ^is — out —
of the question. Though I assure you this is
the case, yet I beseech you ."
" Now don't reproach me, Margiee, but I
thought that — that — in some little trifles I ob-
served a greater partiality for him than you ge-
nerally show to — to — -the young men that Papa
always has about him ! "
Despite of the positive assertions that Marga-
rita had been making, the last remark from her
sister produced an effect that one might not have
expected. Twice she attempted a reply, but her
self-possession failing her, she remained silent.
*^ Then I may confide, Love, on what you have
said ? " inquired Charlotte, once more flinging her
arms round Margiee*s neck. " Because you know,
A TALE OF THE WAPw 91
dearest, if you had marked out our fiery hero
for a conquest — why — I wouldn't for worlds
think of interfering, but stick to my old, detest-
able suite. Colonel Sefton and Lord Falconer, and
that great sea-bear, Fairfax."
" No Chai'lotte, you will not interfere with
" Then why, dear Margiee, do you sigh in
saying so, and blush when I mention him ?
Why I declare even now I feel you quite
" I have sufficient reason to sigh, Charlotte,"
retm-ned the sister, passing over the other leSvS
equivocal signs of emotion, " when I reflect on
the store of sorrow and misery which you are laying
up for yourself; fixing your afiections one moment,
to withdraw them the next. Consider, very few
days have elapsed since we completed oiu eighteenth
birth-day, and yet, if I am to beheve all that I
hear, you have felt or fancied this same passion of
love no less than four times— while to me it is
perfectly unknown — except by name ! Remember
how fervently you protested to me that each afiair
was to be your last. The first survived six
92 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
months, since which, every succeeding transport
has proved of yet shorter duration than the one
which pre-occupied your volatile bosom. It was
only two months ago that Lord Falconer was
every thing. How many hours, night after night,
have you not kept me awake proving that his
beauty vied with or surpassed that of Apollo;
that Crichton himself was not more accomplished,
or Chatelar more fond or devoted ! Sad Charlotte !
After this, to think that in five weeks you should
quarrel with this deity of your heart, and dethrone
him to set up a perfect stranger, inferior to him in
" Nay Margiee, I will not grant that ! "
" Why he is neither so tall, nor are his features
" Well, still there is something — more expres-
" Well, then as to his accomplishments — "
" Why he has not that insipid sameness which
Lord Falconer always has !"
" Oh fickle Charlotte ! At any rate then you
must admit that the other has the advantage over
him in fondness and devotion towards you."
" Yes exactly, and that's why I dislike him.
A TALE OF THE WAIL 93
It's SO spaniel-like, I might do what I choose to
him and he'd never resent it. It tires me always
to see him running after me, and if I merely look
twice at any other man, why he's ready to faint or
expire, or some stuff of that sort. Now there's a
nice fierceness which gleams out occasionally from
Croiser which I like, as if he were determined to
maintain his own station— he has all Lord Fal-
coner's ardour without his milk-and-water."
" Come, now, Charlotte, this is ver}- imfatr;
you cannot accuse his Lordship of want of spirit,
since we know Papa's opioion of the way in which
he commands his fine frigate ; besides, how many
officers have we heard praisiug his bravery in the
extreme ! Again, Chai'lotte, this fierceness which
you now so frowardly admire, will scarcely brook
to be made the plaything of your heart, as so many
others have been. Do consider where tliis may
end ! I scarcely pretend to advise you, but do,
dearest Charlotte, do reflect ! Mild as Lord Fal-
coner is to you, he may not, at his return from sea,
which must be shortly, feel so mildly inchned to-
wards Captain Croiser ! Reflect what misery you
might bring upon us all by their collision. And
even," she continued, seeing that these argimients
94 THE POET ADMIRAL,
made some impression on her hearer, " supposing
that no actual ill arose from such a proceeding,
how can you lightly make up your mind to tamper
with the feelings of one who deserves so highly at
your hands? I know — I am sure — I have very
sufficient grounds for knowing that Lord Falconer
is truly attached to you ; more so, perhaps, than
ever Captain Croiser may be, or even supposing
that he was — in such an energetic character you
must be prepared to find a lord as well as a hus-
" A lord indeed ! / find a lord in my husband !
— Nay, I should not fear that much, be the man
who he may !" retorted Charlotte, quickly, with
the gaiety so prominent in her disposition, while
by this unlucky suggestion Margarita lost all the
gi'ound she had previously gained.
To a spirit so determined and buoyant as that of
her elder sister, one word of opposition proved
a gi'eater stimulus towards any given end, than a
month spent in persuasion and encouragement.
" Now do, Margiee, do let me discard Lord
Falconer and take up Croiser ! I know he is much
more my sort of man. I did'nt comprehend Fal-
coner's character at first : I was thinking of his
A TALE OF THE WAR. 96
namesake, the ' Shipwreck ' man, and imagined he
must be quite a poetical hero. I can't tell how I
was so stupid — but Croiser — O ! Croiser's just
the very personage ! Now don't laugh, Margiee
— I do feel quite convinced of it this time. Be-
sides, I don't hke Falconer's blue eyes — you know
they're too soft for a man. As for changing, I
declare I won't change again, on my word of ho-
nour, sister ! and you know I am very scrupulous
about that. Then again, as to Croiser's never be-
in^ so fond of me — why that will pique my affec-
tion for him, and keep it alive, and then that will
be a pleasing task for me, and I think I can effect
that — at least you know, dear Margiee, I have
never failed before !" glancing slightly at the
"Yes, yes. Chatty, this may all be very well; the
risks that concern yoiu own happiness you must
be content to undergo, as the price of your fickle-
ness. The person however whom I most pity is
poor Falconer: what is to become of him ?"'
" Deal* me, Margarita, what a teasing lecturer
you are ! You talk of my having been four times
in love. I'll put the same question to yourself.
96 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
And how many times have you been in the same
" Why, Chatty, if your descriptions of this
tremendous passion be true, I may safely answer,
"Yes, once I think!"
" Never, I assure you — to what do you allude ? **
" Pity is a-kin they say to love ; and you seem to
afford a great deal of the former to Falconer.
Come now, Margiee, suppose you take him in
hand, just ^our passer le temps ! With your
talents you could soon mould him to anything.
I should think too, his soft, pliable disposition
would amalgamate admirably with yours."
" No, Charlotte, I would never entertain such a
proposition for a moment. Should I ever feel my
affections excited in the way you mention, 1 feel
convinced it will be by a different character from
that of Lord Falconer, amiable and attentive as
I confess he is. With such views, tlierefore, I
deem it a sacred duty in every woman, to hold no
degree of encouragement to any man whose suit
she is not prepared to favour to its fullest extent.
Those who do otherwise — in my estimation — act
A TALE OF THE WAE. ^
a part as unfeminine and unmaidenly as it is
dishonourable and unworthy."
" Come, now, Margiee, your code is very severe ;
but maybe one of these days, you'll gain a Uttle
more practical experience in these matters. Theo-
rists are but poor lawgivers ! I yet live in hopes
to see you over head and ears in love yourself.
Oh ! how I should deUght in it ! However, mean-
while, I tell you what we can do for this ' Ship-
wi'ecked' man. You know there was a sort of
flirtation between Falconer and that Uvely rattle,
Lucy Talpoys, whom Papa calls my second self;
well, when Falconer comes home, I can ask her
to come and stay with us, and then we can fling
them together constantly, and so make a match of
it. I know she likes his title."
" ' His title,' Charlotte ! How can you mention so
poor a bauble ? You run on in such a style, I shall
soon begin to think that you have no heart at all,
in.stead of one for every person. You talk of love
as if it were melon-seed, and had only to be sown
in a good hot-bed and protected from the weather,
to spring up at once into fmit ; instead of regard-
ing it as a passion sacred at least, if not dreadful;
VOL. II. F
98 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
since its results are often fraught with the most
fatal influence on the rest of our existence ! "
" Well said ! Margiee, a direct plagiarism from
the last romance. You are, as I said before,
a most scrupulous theorist, but we shall see by
and by!" As she said this the light-hearted
beauty laid her head on her pillow, while Marga-
rita, who was conscious of having allowed more
of the romantic sentiment of her character to
escape than usual, remained silent, until the tacit
communion of those pure hearts having ascended
to the Power which claimed their homage, she lit
the little lamp which was to preserve a light
through the remaining hours, and joined her elder
" Well Margiee," said the latter, " I think even
now that I'm sorry you won't have that Falconer."
" What then you really pity him ? "
" Why I don't exactly pity the wretch, but then
I think he'd have such a dear creature of a consort,
and she no bad spouse — perhaps — after all."
" Come, come, friend, get thee to sleep, since
thinking so only proves thee more fooHsh than I
A TALE OF THE WAR. 99
As Charlotte's eyelids warmly seconded this
motion, the gentle and regular breathings of tliese
bright buds of promise, soon announced their
enjoyment of that dreamless slumber which flies
the couch of care, ambition, vice, or guile, to
bestow its invaluable bliss on purity and worth.
100 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Farewell ! farewell !— the voice you hear
Has left its sad farewell with you ;
It next must join the seaward cheer,
And shout among the shouting crew !
The accents, which I scarce could form
Beneath thy frown's controlling check.
Must give the word above the storm.
To cut the mast and clear the wreck ! "
In vain did Croiser's heart secretly look for a re-
prieve of that sentence which his judgement had
resolutely pronounced. The morning's sun arose
in all its splendour, and as that nameless sickness
of the heart which attends any event of interest,
awoke him from the matin slumbers in which
he usually took so much dehght, he taxed his me-
mory in vain to recall what awful fate awaited
him ; till throwing open his casement to inhale
the balmy air, the beautiful domain before him
A TALE OF TH^ WAR. Wl
buist on his view, and at once recalled the fair
enchantress of those woods, whose image w-as
so inseparably linked with every beauty which his
Hurriedly arraying^ himself, he walked out to
take a last farewell of those pleasant scenes, and
indulge in the reflections which he might be so
naturally supposed to feel. Directing his steps
to the ruined tower, where he first met Margarita
Salisbury, he pursued his route muttering his
" wayward fancies as he roved," until his career was
suddenly arrested by some huge moving bulk, and
looking up he beheld himself opposed to Tim
Tarpauline of the Nine Fathoms, who, like him-
self, was wending his way towards the tower, now
withm a few yards.
As Croiser surveyed the exterior of his faithfid
mate, he could nothelp thinking that he was dress-
ed as if on the occasion of meeting some one of
importance. His blue jacket, the seams and edges
of which were covered "^ith black-painted canvass,
seemed sprucely bi-ushed, his low and round poled
hat was exchanged for one of the same form, but
of a newer date. His long cue was ' nattily * ar-
ranged ; even his old dark dudeen or short pipe,
102 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
which always retained its station under his hat
ribbon, even that appeared poHshed up, while his
canvass breeks were white as snow, and shoes
displayed a pair of new gold buckles. So smart
an appearance excited Croiser's inquiry : " For
what port are you bound, Tim ? " But Tim hav-
ing assured his honour that " he only came there
to have a little bit of a reconnoitre as it may
be," began to inquire " if his honour had met
with a fellow knocking about here, who com-
plained o' being rather loose in the starn post ? " —
This having brought on simdry questions, Tim
explained that " having lately gone to a bit of a
landing by starlight, just merely to get a di'op of
ti'ue Nantz — he being run dry — he met a chap in
a glazed hat and pea-coat," here he narrated the fight
and his subsequent help — " who steered us into
these seas and made me bring up in a snug Uttle
berth suiely, then telHng me to keep my anchors
down till so be as he came back, in the turn of
a bed-post, he slipped his cable and made sail,
and I've never been able to set eyes on him since,
or I'd make him pay the piper for such a scaly
trick. However this I will say, whoever the chap
may be, he's a jolly-hearted feUow, and spins as
A TALE OF THE WAR. 103
good a yam as ever I'd wish to hang up a dull
hour by. Aye, your honour, he not only spins a
good yam, but what's nearly as good, he can hear
one — though I do wish for his sake he'd lamed
better manners when he was a younter. There was
I left alone with Sal at low water, to hang out till
gun-fire — obliged to freshen the nip with a thimble
full at a time, for fear of iTuming short, and then
in a pretty hubbub meanwhile, seeing how my old
timbers might hap to get aground for want o'" —
" Not water, Tim."
" Umph, no, your honour ; IVe had enough of
that ever since that time off Cape Maccaroni"
" Well well, Tim," interrupted his commander,
checking the oft-repeated tale of his wonderflU
escape from drowning, "we know all that, but
tell me did these things take place on the same
night that they rolled the poor devil of an excise-
man over the hill ? "
" Aye, your honour, the very same. Lor !
what a rumble that fellow must have had — they
made his ribs crack again, I know — and to think
of the chap not being much the worse for it after
" Ah ! by the bye — so they tell me. How was
it he managed to escape } "
104 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Why — ye see-^your honour, they put an ashen
sti'etcher athwart over his arms, and in between
his knees — lashed taut, as I understand, so that
when they come to give him headway over the
hill, the stick took the ground at every tum ; by
the matter o' which ye see, he fought shy o'
monkey's allowance, more kicks than coppers.
Well, on he went right enough fifteen knots on a
baw line, till he made the bottom o' the hill, when
just as he thought it was quite dicky with him,
he brought up all standing in a thickset hedge o'
black-thorn that hung over the road. Well, your
honour, there he be stuck luckily enough head
uppermost, hailing and squalling to every chap
that went by below ; and two or three passed him
a^ I understand, but they all took him for a hob-
goblin sort o' concam, so he had to caulk it out there
till morning, 'fraid to move for fear of coming dowti
by the run. Teach the braw Scotch ganger to keep
his eye-teeth about him for the time to come, ' for,'
says he, what with the thorns below, and the cauld
air aboon, it was a situation no that canny to fill ! ' "
" And so he has actually escaped unhurt ? "
^" ' Hurt ! ' oh nothing to signify, your honour ;
though, to be sure, he's got his figure-head scoured
up a bit ; but then his neighbours hold out that
A TALE OF THE WAR, 105
he's had that for the last feefteen years, ever since
he was 'noculated by the small pox; wliile he
swears lustily 'twas all done by the fuzz bushes
coming down over the hiU. I've a heard o' a
fellow," added Tai-pauhne in a hah* musing man-
ner, " being roUed down over Deal beach afore
he was quite dry, and the shingle sticking into
his fissiogamy, but this yam o' Dugald Mac Me-
teit is a reg'lar clincker ! Howsoever, the boys
have christened the place ' The ganger's loup,'
and so it will be called, I dare say, long after
fat httle Dugald's brought up in Deadman's
Bay. — We'm all creatures of clay, your honour t^"
and as Tim came to this sombre conclusion, he
drew forth ' Sal,' and apphed that very respect-
able lady to his lips, though not with the views
which would have actuated such a suitor as his
commander, since Tarpauhn would doubtless have
derided the — to him — unmeaning pleasures of
" ' Creatures of clay,' eh ? and so you drink to
your morahty as if to confii*m its decrees."
" Ah ! your honour, like other clay, we aU want
moistening before we're fit for moulding. A fine
breeze to-day, your honour ; I'm thinking — may-
10.6 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
be — that you'll be wanting to be off soon — we've
made a long lay of it hei*e."
" Yes, Tim, yes, IVe just been thinking so ;
I sleep on board to-night, get ready to weigh,
and make sail at daylight to-morrow morning,"
and with this brief command he hurriedly left
his faithful dependant to hasten down the steps of
the tower, towards a gate in the plantation where
he had just descried the advancing form of Mar-
garita. On arriving at the spot, however, Croiser
found that she had gone back, and deploring his
want of luck, he hastened along the road which
he supposed she had pursued, with the purpose
of overtaking her, little dreaming that he was
leaving her behind at every step.
Faithful to her sister, and it may be, somewhat
inclined to chide her conscious heart for having
entertained certain mental visions favourable to
this sea-hero, who had occupied a prominent sta-
tion in them, Margarita's glance had no sooner
recognized his slight form standing beside the
colossal bulk of Tim, than she quickly retraced her
steps, and hiding in a little rustic summer-house
near at hand, waited until his hasty and retiring steps
warned her to slip out, and take a different track.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 107
" How silly and unguarded I must have been,
since even my careless sister has seen that I have
occasionally thought of him ; I hope it has escaped
his own eyes! Not for worlds could I endure that
he should know it. Henceforth I defy even the
scrutiny of my own heart to chscera a repetition
ofit!" Poor Margarita ! Though soliloquizing thus,
and generously giving up to her versatile sister
the only preference which the innocent warmth of
her young bosom had ever engendered, she never-
theless felt, despite of her arguments, no shght
pang at the surrender. With regard to Charlotte's
quick observation, she was deceived. WTiat eye,
what penetration so quick, so searching as those
of a rival? But as it happened, Charlotte had
gathered her ideas on the subject rather from the
attention of Croiser to Margarita, than the reverse ;
but this fact she was of course too much of a wo-
man to acknowledge.
WTien Croiser at the breakfast-table announced
his determination of sailing by simrise on the en-
suing day, great was the surprise manifested, and
no httle lamentation, since his spirited yet docile
and attractive manners had insensibly attached
everv one to him. Xor was this feeling of regret
108 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
unfelt even by the most insensible animals — to wit,
the cat — the dog — Captain Bombast — and Major
PufF; the latter of whom mumbled to his worthy
brother traveller-^-" Haven't met with a more in-
telligent young man since I parted with Ensign
Huggins, whose society I had the bitter misfor-
tune to lose when 1 was abroad at Cork."
" Very true ! very true ! " drawled the captain.
" as my father w^ould say, a most superior young
man, just what that young chief would have been
had he but had the advantage of a little more civil-
ization — I mean young Hatchee-Matchee Mad-
derhead, you know, a prince of the Longbow
It was to little purpose that Charlotte used all
her oratory to persuade him to delay his depai'ture.
There were a thousand sights unseen and plea-
sures unexperienced. But alas ! so they were
likely to remain. I know not whether his resolu-
tion might not have been thawed before the gentle
breath of Margarita, but as she forbore to put it to
the trial, he was saved the pain of a refusal, and
Charlotte the mortification which a contrary course
would have created. Even the Port Admiral him-
self, while gently tapping Croiser on the shoulder.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 10©
as his noble and venerable figure leaned forward
to the " ha, ha, ha ! " wliich concluded one of his
best stories, even he seemed surprised and af-
fected, to say nothing of losing so admirable a
listener, — though this office was a real pleasure^ —
and assured him ^' he should be dehghted to give
him snug stowage and a berth in his mess — ay, by
the mast, as long as ever he'd chose to hang out —
though it should be till all's blue. Well, well, if ye
can't, ye can't, ye see," he added, on Croiser's polite
and gratefiil refusal, " and that's all that's about it ;
but may be you'll be putting in here again some
odd day or another; or may want a port in a
storm suddenly, and if that should fall out, and you
don't bear up for old Dick Salisbury, hang me if
I don't call ye a Frenchman! There's Chatty
ready any day to have a romp with you ; Margiee
will sing ye a song, and eveiy man-jack of us be
right glad to give you a jolly welcome ! And now
I must say by bye, and God bless you— so fare-
well, my heai-ty, since I have to hurry over to the
other side of the water and see about some rascally
court-martial of that cursed little snivelling son of
a hound Commodore Wheezey: he's always up to
these fireaks or worse. I wish some one would
110 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
have the spirit to tailpipe the httle rascal so that
he might dash his thick head against the next
lamp -post*. He'd try me I believe, if he could,
if it was'nt for one thing — that I Avon't let him."
Dinner passed without Sir Richard's return,
and Croiser proposed to take their usual walk in
the private gardens, where, with few interruptions
since his arrival, he had been accustomed to pass
many happy hours with the lovely twins.
The more urgent details of this my history, kind
Reader, which have prevented my noticing this
mode of passing their time before, compel me to
defer to another opportunity any description of
these truly beautiful retreats, further than such as
is absolutely necessary for thy present compre-
hension. You, dear Reader, are already aware
that on descending from the northern or main en-
trance, the eye beheld on either side a double row
of oak and elm trees, fonning the grand avenue.
Said Reader, I take it, is also aware that the ave-
nue was terminated on either side by a turreted
lodge and gate ; that on the left hand being the
* This wish of Sir Richard's was nearly accomplishedj since
the Commodore was subsequently stabbed, but unfortunately he
recovered from the wound.
A TALE OF THE WAR. Ill
carriage gate from without, that on the right hand
being the entrance to the private gardens ; the walls
of which extended towards the house in a parallel
with and at a Httle distance from the right hand
or eastern row of the aforesaid avenue, by the
termination of which a vista was opened to the
eye, displaying the blue calm surface of Bam
Here, as the atrocious reader will also call to
mind, was the private place of embarkation, its
smooth and level strand occasionally serving to
run out the bathing machine now laid up beneath
the shade of an adjoining cork tree or ilex, the
whilk I do not pretend at this present writing to re-
member with that degree of precision for which
we naval officers are so pre-eminently noted.
At the end of these gardens nearest the house,
a high wall gave way to one of less dimensions, sur-
rounded by a raihng and circumvallated by a fosse,
over which was a small bridge leading to a private
entree reserved especially for the family, in con-
tradistinction to the lower one at the lodge, through
which came the visitors from the neighbouring
Towards this door advanced our trio, as the
112 THE POET ADMIRAL,
rich evening sun threw his expiring gleams along
the sky, gilding the extreme fohage of the sum-
mits of the high trees beneath which they
passed, and leaving the space below in that
hallowed gloom so sacred to the heart. The chat-
tering chough as it passed, gladdened itself in the
genial ray that tipped its plumage, and uttered
a shrill note of joy that broke the holy stillness
of the spot, where the whispering leaves had
kissed into silence the breeze of day, and now
seemed hushed in the repose of nature. The soft
grass was scarcely heard to rustle beneath their
light footsteps. But sound and Charlotte were
ever friends, and scarcely had Croiser unlocked
the little gate and entered the covered way of
trelhs-work matted with clematis and jasmine
leading to the recesses of the garden, than her
loud and joyous laugh awoke the echoes of the
wood, and roused a hundi'ed di'owsy jackdaws,
now circling aloft in rapid flight and imparting
to each other in their peculiar but not unpleasant
cry, the groundless terror of the moment.
The first garden into which they entered, was
laid out in the English style. On their emerging
from the covered way before mentioned, they found
A TALE OP THE WAR. 113
themselves under a gigantic cedar tree. It had
already numbered fifty years in its present site,
and beneath its dark and horizontal aims was a
tablet announcing it to be " Cowper's seat," and
inscribed with an appropriate quotation from the
poet. Opposite to this stood a small but chastely-
designed pavihon containing two rooms with mu-
sical instruments and books. Immediately before
Cowper's seat was a fine Portuguese lam-el, the
overpowering perftime from the flowers of which
might be discovered at a considerable distance on
the water when the breeze wafted its precious
fragrance along Bam Pool, and even obliged our
fail* friends to rise from the bench where they had
at first seated themselves, and retire beyond its
more immediate neighbourhood.
" Come," said the restless Charlotte starting
up the first, " let us all race off to the Fr^ich
garden, and the one who arrives in the pavilion
the first, shall receive a pair of gloves from the
" Do excuse me, dear sister ! "
" No, Mai'giee, I will not ! Captain Croiser, help
me to get her up, this horrible laurel will kill
me. Now, then, are you ready } " and away they
114 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
bounded, Croiser following close to Charlotte,
while Margarita ceased her attempt at running on
the instant that the other two were out of sight.
With a melancholy feeling which the hour in-
spired, she sauntered onwards, and j)lucking one
of the many splendid flowers of the magnolia
growing close at hand, inhaled its dehcious per-
fume and mused on the transitory character ol'
" I have no heart to mingle in these romps of
my gay sister," so ran her thoughts, " and yet
why is it ? I think I have felt a change in my
disposition and feelings within the last month.
But a short period since, these things were not in-
different, if they did not absolutely please me —
now, they are repugnant- Such are the changes
which mark our approach to womanhood ; and it
were unreasonable to expect we should enjoy
the simplicity and happiness of our girlhood for
ever ! "
The path suddenly terminating, she found her-
self on the terrace belonging to the battery that
overhung the sea, forming the left side of the
entrance into the harbour, while the Devil's point
opposite formed the other. In her reveries she
A TALE OF THE WAR. 115
had missed the route, which would have led her
to the proposed rendezvous, and now feeling in-
clined to be alone, she determined to enjoy the
extreme fineness of the evening, and, by returning
through a more circuitous walk, give to the other
two a longer space of time for their tete-a-tete,
which in the present state of Charlotte's feeling
would, she rightly conjectured, be far from dis-
pleasing to that fair damsel.
Little did she dream, when speculating on the
passing days of girlhood, that those tranquil feel-
ings had quitted her bosom for ever, and that
her emotions had received an impulse as novel
as it was indefinable; an impulse on the ulti-
mate result of which, the happiness or misery of
such a gentle being was entirely to depend.
As she looked upon the ocean before her, she
beheld it unruffled by the slightest breath. A
thin dim haze seemed to float above its poHshed
surface, in the strong and darkening mirror of
which every ti'ee was visible. A gentle murmur-
ing was heard as it met the surrounding shores,
and here and there might be seen the circling
but silent eddies, caused by the high tide that
was just ceasing to flow into the harbour, whose
116 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
full waters checked the flagging motion of the
The dying ephemera, too, that had sported their
brief existence since sunrise, were seen occasioa-
aJly to fall upon the waters, then instantly dim-
pled by the rising of the piscine race, whose
prey they became. The hum of the distant city
rose upon the air, and undulating over the silent
tides, fell like a charm upon the spirits. Marga-
rita lifted her eyes from this entrancing view
where every form of earth appeared to have a
fellow-image min'ored in the deep, and beheld the
la^t red gleam of the sun kiss the extreme point
of Staddon heights, and then soar away into the
far East, lost to sight except where it gilded for a
few brief moments the rugged points of some
fleecy cloud floating in the distant horizon. Then
as the luminary itself gradually declined in the
west, those aureant hues, waned to a fiery red, as-
sumed a purplish tint — resolved themselves into a
still darker and more neutral colour, and finally
dispersed over the face of the heavens. Gradually
the gloom increased, and with it the dark glaze
which forms the bewitching varnish of these pic-
tures of nature. Too quickly did this fade under
A TALE OF THE VTAV.. IIT
the gathering dimness of night. The high land
of Staddon seemed to loom stupendously vast in
the distance, throwing the deep broad shadow on
the waters beneath — when suddenly a yellow glare
appeared behind them — it rose — it increased.
Sarely it is some conflagration — it is — it must be !
No ! it is the moon — swathed in the falling mists
of day — her purple robes of majesty. She rose to
assert her dominion in the firmament, and shot
her trembling rays upon the ocean witli all the timi-
dity of a youthful and virgin queen. By degrees
they became stronger and bolder as her disc emerged
— her lower segment cleared the mountain and she
poured forth her full effulgence upon the lovely
scene ; while her bright reflection gradually stole
along the whispering tide till it seemed to lip
the shore at the feet of the entranced beholder.
Gradually the spell dissolved which had chained
Margarita to the spot till now : sigh followed sigh,
intuitively, fl-om her innocent bosom, at the as-
sociation which such a solemn scene called up in
one so naturally meditative as herself, and then
she turned away to join her sister and Croiser.
Passmg along by the battery, and turning to the
left through a walk wliich commanded a view of
the inner harbour, she paused for a few moments
118 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
in the little temple dedicated to the Poet of the
Seasons, and having admired this fresh view of the
crowded haven, proceeded through the Itahan
garden, so named from the style in which it was
laid out, where the first object that she encounter-
ed was the old gardener, Jamie Maxwell, busily
engaged in tending his favourite flowers ; his
lean and decrepid figure bent beneath the weight
of a large watering pot, until his natural tendency to
grow double appeared increased to a ludicrous ex-
Indeed no part of his person was likely to in-
spire much respect, for wasted to a mere skeleton,
and displaying on his shrivelled features the discon-
tent which old age and disease had engendered, he
moved the embodied semblance of querulous seni-
lity. Yet there was something about ' Douce
Jamie Maxwell,' as he called himself, which when
once you knew him, was most amusing. His
shrewd Northern sagacity, his attachment to the
land from which he was a wanderer, and many
other little traits, made up for the specks in his
character. His dress consisted of a light blue coat
with steel buttons, and he wore a little brown
" Gude e'en to ye, my Leddy Margaret, gude
A TALE OF THE WAE. 119
e'en tVe ! Ye'll be coming to me now for a bit
posie, and it's vera welcome ye are. — Here's a
bonny twig o' the limmon tree and it's covered
wi' the blossom ; and here's a fine "
" Tliank you, James, thank you ! I'll take your
flowers, they are beautiful, but 1 merely came
through on my road to the French garden. My
sister Charlotte and Captain Croiser are there,
are they not, Jamie ?"
" I dinna exactly ken, my Leddy, but it is pos-
sible they'll be there as ye say."
" Thank you, Jamie."
" Ay, aye," as she moved off, " it's thank ye,
thank ye, now, but de'il the word mair sin' this dark
brow'd chiel's cam amang us. For my part, I'm
thinking he's Hke to drive thae lasses clean daft with
his clishmaclavers. They've no a single thought
for Douce Jamie Maxwell, now," and he peevishly
returned to his foiTuer occupation; while Margarita,
after pursuing her way among sundr}' green al-
leys, passed through a complete arch of evergreens
and found herself in the French gai'den.
Its form was nearly square, the whole space
being enclosed with perj^endicular walls of some
eighteen or twenty feet high, composed entirely of
120 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
the clipped branches of the ilex, winter laurel, and
other rarer trees whose foliage, unimpaired by any
severities of season, aflforded a continued rehef to
the eye throughout the year. The flower-beds,
which were surrounded and intersected by walks,
fonned a square plot, where » rose-trees, clematis,
and jasmine were, by the aid of trellis- work, made
to grow in an uninterrupted festoon of flowers
from bed to bed, arching over the entrance of the
four little alleys leading to the centre of the
garden, where played a rustic fountain ; its falling
waters flowing over several superb Indian shells,
and returning into the surrounding well, through
the tiny billows of which ghttered the purple and
golden hues of sundry little fishes, doomed to a
Around the edges of this well grew the Nympha
Alba, spreading its broad leaf and snowy flower on
the surface, the latter folding itself up into a beauti-
fully shaped cup as the hour of evening drew nigh.
Two very fine trees of the magnolia were seen in
full bloom near the bottom of the garden, and their
rich odours mingling with the hundi'ed other
scents with which the air came loaded, and cooled
by the falling spray of the fountain, seemed like
A TALE OF THE WAR. 121
the breath of Paradise. While this enchanted spot
refreshed the senses, it elevated the soul above the
jarring world without, and gave no faint concep-
tion of the intellectual pride and delight, with
which our first parents must have trod their
bowers of bhss.
At the head of this dehghtful little spot stood a
pavihon, containing, like that in the English
garden, two rooms. They were fitted up with
books, and containing those instruments of music
which the fair goddesses of these sacred haunts
loved to wake to harmony. In the centre hall of
this pa^^lion was a beautiful statue of !Meleager,
while two mirrors being placed behind, seemed to
form an endless vista, and reflected back the images
of every thing within the garden, as well as of those
who passed by a little opening on the opposite
side, which penetrated through several of the walks
" Surely," some of my readers will exclaim, "into
such a retreat as this, no heart could enter without
sharing the happiness which such a scene dif-
fiised." Alas ! that fabulous deity is neither of chme,
country', or degree, and the only slnrine in which
she is ever to be foimd is a contented heart !
VOL. II. G
122 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Is that you, Margarita ?" demanded Charlotte,
as she heard the hght footsteps of her sister ; then
on seeing her figure, " What an age jou have
been ! A perfect snail in your pace, I declai*e ! Re-
member, Madam, that you owe me a pair of gloves,
and since you have made your appearance at last,
sit down and sing to us. Here is your harp, I have
just succeeded in reducing it to something like
" Nay, then, Charlotte, you had better indulge
us by singing yourself !"
" No, no. I must have m}- request. I feel lazy
this evening, and you sing better, and I like your
voice better; besides, I have been piping already
— * so sit, good cousin.'"
Here Croiser joined in the request, and seating
herself by her sister's side on the sofa, Croiser
being on the other, she prepared to comply with
their request. One half of the window before
them was thrown up, so that they could just
perceive through the clambering foliage of the
passion-flower, the play of the fountain as it rose
sparkling in the dim twilight, then fell swerving
on one side to the occasional current of the air,
and refreshingly moistening the sun'ounding flow-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 123
ers. From the room in which they were sitting,
also, an open door led into a large conservatory,
the warm odours of whose exotics mixed with the
many native scents without.
" Now none of your doleful ditties, Margiee,
for I see that you're looking very romantically in-
clined, but pray give us something cheerful: for
instance *Love a Maying.'"
" Nay Charlotte, if you will have a song, it
must be one of my own : you are the best minstrel
for your peculiar music !" Pausing for a moment
as her taper fingers swept along the harpsichord,
she seemed to wait the moment of inspiration.
The scene she had just witnessed on the terrace
was yet floating on her imagination, as she ac-
companied a deep yet tender melody with her
She had not proceeded with many lines before
" Holloa, Margiee! Beshi'ew me, but that's a
regular-built psdm ! " was heard in the hearty
accents of the old Port Admiral, who having
strolled into the garden, on his return fi-om
the town, where his official residence was si-
tuated, had listened with his usual delight to
the music of his daughter's voice, and now looked
in on the party.
124 THE 1*0 RT ADMIRAL,
" Yes, dear Bunting," replied Chatty, " I told
her not to give us any of these doleful dumps;
but she is such an obstinate girl, she cares nothing
lor the commands of her elder sister. Come in,
and bring her to order. "
"No faith! not I — I'm dodging along here to
get a mouthM of fresh air and pick one or two of
the pretty flowers; besides old Ben Bucket and
his family are just anived at the house, and so I
must go up and fetch down lovely Lady Anne."
" Oh Bunting, you abominable flirt! I'll tell
her husband the Admiral ! I declare you are almost
as bad as myself."
The Port Admiral made no reply to this sally of
his daughter Chatty, save by a " Ha-ha-ha, you
httle vixen ! " and he proceeded, as Charlotte said,
to enjoy a little innocent flirtation with the young
wife of his old messmate. Sir Benjamin Buckhardt,
over whom he had the advantage, no less in his
handsome person than in the gallant bearing of his
manners and address, which only gave way to the
convivial kindness of his heart within the sacred
circle of his intimates.
"' Margiee, I wish you would not sing such
monstrous dismal airs, they make me as melan-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 125
" Well, Charlotte, what can I do ? You ^ill not sing
yourself, and cannot expect the tones of a trumpet
from the slight chords of a lute — besides, have we
not reason now and then to be touched with
melancholy, when we give ourselves time for
reflection? Mere children of the moment ! Even
that beautiful aloe plant," — pointing to one
placed outside the window, — " which is perhaps
destined to outlive us all, might well excite those
emotions which you contemn."
There was a pause — the gloom, the hour, seemed
to fall with a bewdtching and softening influence
over them all. Even Charlotte was silent, and
resigned herself to the feeling that stole over her,
as she gently leaned against the shoulder of him
who had so suddenly become dear to her. With
such a restless disposition even this short quietus
could not endure long. Suddenly starting up,
she said, " Since none of you will indulge in a
livelier strain, I must ; but I prefer another instru-
ment," taking down a guitar. " Gaiety is the
natural emotion of these chords; however sorrow
and sublimity may belong to the prouder harp."
" Well, I rejoice at your determination to con-
test the palm with your sister. I will be the
umpire between both parties."
126 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" So you shall, as far as relates to the matter,
but not to the music, since there I should be
striving hopelessly. These stringed instruments
require such a tedious process of tuning — now we
will try," and Charlotte dashed off into a lively
canzonetta as opposed to the song of her sister
both in sentiment and metre as it was possible to
"Now then. Sir Umpire, decide!" said the
charming siren on its conclusion.
"Why my fair Minstrel," said the captain, " since
both performances have been in song, my deci-
sion ought at least to be conveyed in the same
delightful vehicle. Meanwhile as both your themes
are equally to the point, you must allow me to defer
my opinion until that time arrives."
" Why, I thought you never sang ! At least I
have asked you five hundred times, and surely
you never would have refused my request so often,
unless you could not comply with it ! "
" Nor have I now said any thing that should
induce a contrary belief — however, I should be
most happy to become your pupil, if you will
undertake such a task ; and to prove how ready
a scholar I intend to be, let me take my first
lesson at once."
A TALE OF THE WAR. 1*27
" Come then take the instniinent and place your
left hand thus — Yes, that's coiTect, — and your right
hand here — verj^-good. Now then strike these six
strings successively. Why good Powers ! — What !
— is it possible ! " — and to the infinite surprise of
his fair instructress and hearer, Croiser's fingers
threaded those chords with all the swiftness and
execution of an experienced musician.
After an inter^'al of a few seconds, and before
his listeners had recovered their astonishment suf-
ficiently to speak, his prelude subsided into a low
and tender accompaniment, to which, with a
manly but clear and flexible voice, he sang the
following words, in allusion to the preceding chants
of his chaiming companions : —
Nay, speak not of the bliss of man !
The brief enjo^Tnents given,
Bespangled o'er his tortured span,
Or known on this side Heaven !
Too true, yon plant of culture rare
Returning bloom denies,
Rear'd through an age of toil and care,
Once blown, it droops and dies !
So pines the heart o'er vanished days
Of childhood's hopes and fears ;
One golden hour of youth repays
An age of baffled years.
128 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
When midnight lends her sacred veil
To hide the mourner's woe,
Nor slumber hears the stifled wail,
Nor marks the tears which flow.
The fated fire that inly preys
On this devoted breast,
Consumes to care its sufi''rer's days,
And cankers all my rest.
For I must on to meet each grief
In store with coming time,
Nor stay these fleeting joys, too brief
To save my soul from crime !
Too like the fabled bark which bore
A self-destroying freight,
And madly urged to that dark shore>
Found ruin linked with fate !
This is no fancied phantom gi'ief.
Oh would it were not so !
The humblest lot that brought relief.
Should take such gilded woe !
There was a pause. The feeling of surprise
which both the sisters had manifested at the be-
ginning, was swallowed up in the sad expression
which Croiser's words had made. The extreme
pathos with which they had been sung, and the
evident earnestness of the heart which felt the
sorrows thus uttered, together with the simple and
plaintive air, had indeed affected them with sym-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 129
pathy; and while they mutely pondered over the
mysteiy attached to their interesting guest, they
had entirely forgotten to thaaik him for his strain.
" How shameful of you never to have sung
before this evening — the last of our seeing you
" * Cygnus niger ante suam mortem canet,' as
Lady Sapphira would say."
" Oh spare us her odious Latin ! And is this
the way you decide as umpire ? "
" Yes," replied Margarita, " by surpassing both
" Nay — " but here Croiser's disclaimer was in-
terrupted by the entrance of the Port Admiral with
Lady Buckhardt on his arm; and the various
salutations having passed, they all walked to-
wai'ds the terrace to enjoy the beauties of the
The hour of supper being passed, Croiser watch-
ing his opportunity, led Margarita aside to one of
the window recesses, and took his leave. In that
sad parting, which he had steadily resolved should
be forever, little indeed was said. The slight com-
pliment which he wished to pay to her, had es-
caped him — he faltered, stammered, and incohe-
130 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
rently uttered a few sentences, the import of which
it was impossible to understand. Nor was Mar-
garita more at ease, since the assumed coldness
of her manner was evidently struggling with the
more natural emotions of her heart.
To his assertion that this would be the last
meeting of their lives, she could only reply " Not
so I hope ! " Nor when he pressed her hand to his
lips could she attempt to withdraw it. On finding-
out Charlotte, to pay his best respects to her, she
proposed to Margarita to walk down and see him
embark from Barn Pool. To propose and to exe-
cute were with her the same; and as Croiser
stepped into his light gig, and was swiftly rowed
to his little vessel, he beheld the commanding
figures of his fair young friends melt into the dis-
tance, until the wave of their handkerchiefs was
no longer visible, and at length every trace of
them had disappeared. Flinging himself on the
taffrail, he vainly endeavoured, by the aid of his
glass, to discover their retreating figm-es. For an
hour he remained motionless, until a sudden light,
visible through the trees, in that quarter of the
building where theii a]iartment was situated, an-
nounced their retirement to rest.
A TALE OF THE T\AR. 131
He had then indeed torn himself from them !
and when the morrow's sun arose, he should nei-
ther behold the loveliness of her he loved, nor
hang upon the magic of her voice ! For a few
seconds he repented of the step he had taken,
and felt tempted to renounce that duty which
drew him away. Then arose those doubts and
fears, griefs and upbraidings, with the hundred
passions that are so inexplicably interwoven in
that strange portion of our mysteiy — the love of
132 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" The storm was succeeded by a calm, but it was a question
if they were bettered by the change."
The morning after Croiser's departure, curiosity
could no longer refrain, and Captain Bombast and
Major PufF began to indulge in their various con-
jectures, instigated by that slanderous and gossip-
ing propensity which prompts low natures to
malign the absent. Being quickly silenced by the
wit of Charlotte, as well as the more dignified
censure of Margarita, they appealed to the Port
Admiral as to whether his knowledge of Captain
Croiser would not confirm their suspicions. Much
to their discomfiture however. Sir Richard pro-
tested that he held his late guest in the highest
consideration, and therefore having found out that
A TALE OF THE WAR. 133
he was unconnected with the navy, he had forborne
from pr}dng into his affairs ; and furthermore, since
these were his opinions, he begged that he might
never hear Captain Croiser mentioned but with
A week had elapsed since Croiser's departiire,
and Chai'lotte's repeated wonderings of " when he
would come back," her hauntings of his favourite
walks, and musings on the sea from the old tower,
wei'e already beginning to wax fainter, when she
determined to foiTQ a party of pleasure to visit the
" Mew-stone," a large ragged rock, situated on
the opposite side of the Sound.
The day was appointed ; it arrived; Sir Richard
descried through its appai*ent fineness some few
suspicious appearances, but with Charlotte these
went for nought. The flag-ship's launch, fitted up
as a tender or yacht for the Admiral, made its
appearance in Bam Pool at 10 a. m. ; when the
lieutenant in command went up to the house
to announce his being in waiting. The party
descended, but Charlotte, predetermined on one of
her usual freaks, contrived to have the j^rovisions
left behind, in order to enjoy the disappointment
of the party on their arriving at the rock. Cap-
134 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
taiB Bombast had also some manoeuvres to put in
practice, by which he succeeded in leaving the
lieutenant of the boat behind, thereby gaining the
command himself. The party consisted of Lady
Sapphira and her brother the Reverend Nathaniel,
together with Bombast, Puff, Charlotte, and Mar-
garita ; the boat being manned by six men and a cox-
swain. They had not proceeded far, when some sub-
ject afforded an opportunity for the usual altercation
between Lady Sapphira and Nathaniel ; Bombast
and Puff taking part with the lady, and Charlotte
diverting herself at their general expense. In the
meantime Margarita indulged in that pensive me-
ditation to which she was now more than ever
given. As her soft eye dreamingly surveyed the
vaiied expanse before her, she beheld the mist,
hitherto only discernible in the horizon, gradually
spread along the sky, and borne rapidly by the
wind, unroll itself from the distant mountains of
Dartmoor, until it completely enveloped the low
town of Plymouth, now no longer visible in the
little nook through which the Plym ^mpties itself
into the waters of the Sound. Soon the vapour
was seen to extend towards the town of Dock
and the harbour of Hamoaze, while, wherever
A TALE OF THE WAR. 136
it rested, its impenetrable veil defied the eye to
discern the objects beneath.
Turning from so comfortless a view towai'ds the
Mewstone itself, she beheld it rearing its bleak
and rugged head to heaven, black with the storms
of unknown centuries, distant some two miles
inland of them, on their weather bow. Mean-
while the sailors who had come fi:om the flagship,
missing tlieir own oflicer, and finding tliemselves
under the command of a mean-looking man in
plain clothes, felt their usual repugnance to
obey the orders of a stranger, increased by the
evident unfitness and inattention which he be-
trayed. The whole distance of the Mewstone,
fi'om the point of starting, was at the most eight
miles, and had he only steered properly at the
outset, he could not have failed to reach it,
wherea.s he had kept so much away fi'om the
wind, that having already gone over a space equal
to the whole distance, a sudden change of breeze
now left him neai'ly dead to leeward of it.
The coxswain inmiediately took the command out
of Bombast's hand, and ever}- effort was made to
gain their destination, but as the breeze was by
this time blowing very fireshly fi-om the shore, it
136 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
was found to be attended with too much dif-
ficulty, and after a short consultation the at-
tempt was given up, and the boat's head put about
to return home. Fate, however, seemed to have
set her face against them. The wind rose ra-
pidly, the lowering appearance of the heavens
increased with every passing moment. Scarcely
had they time to take precautionary measures,
when the squall expended all its fury upon them.
They had no need to reef their sails, for these
were shivered into strips, while this sudden gust
was accompanied by a thick mist which not only
hid every object from their sight, but combined
with the passing drifts of spray to wet our plea-
sure party to the skin. The latter inconvenience
was however unnoticed amid the more imminent
dangers which threatened their lives.
Their boat, which was of the ordinary size of a
small open pleasure-boat, was partly decked over.
This however extended but a few feet fi-om the bow
of the vessel, and the httle space beneath was merely
intended to shelter a suit of spare sails, a coil or
two of rope, a hawser, and some fishing-hnes ;
the remainder of the boat was open. A deck
below protected the feet from any water that
A TALE OF THE WAR. 137
might find its way through a leak, while the
caq^et, mahogany panels, and seats, bespoke the
care and attention paid by his majesty's dock-yard
to the Port Admiral. A washboard ran round the
gunwale to keep the deck as dry as possible, and
for the stUl further convenience of its passengers,
a second gunwale or washboard surrounded the
space denominated the stem sheets, which here
includes that part of the boat left uncovered by
the cuddy. As this space did not extend on either
side to the bulwark, room was still left between
the outer and inner washboards for a seaman to
walk aft to the mizen.
The value of such a protection now became
fiilly apparent, for as the storm increased, the
waves occasionally broke on the bow of their little
vessel and flooded her deck, witliout further in-
commoding the party than by the spray ; while
the water that would otherwise have required
pumping out, had time to run off through the
little scuppers or apertmes made for that pur-
pose. The tempest soon became frightful; and
if the \\dnd itself did not exceed its first burst of
violence, the swell had either risen considerably,
or they had diifted out into the middle of the
Channel, where its fiu-y was greater ; perhaps both.
To the eyes of the terrified ladies, utterly unac-
customed to behold such a scene, each vast and
bubbling mass of water over which the boat now
laboured, seemed to contain a thousand deaths ;
while to the most experienced eye it appeared a
problem whether their frail vessel could ride out so
terrific a storm. In such a case it may easily be
supposed that there were few deliberative voices,
and Garnet having represented to them the inu-
tility of trying to beat up against such a sea,
they agreed to await the issue of the gale.
The boat's head was then brought to the wind by
means of a small buoy or raft flung out a-head,
and Garnet proposed, as night drew near, that the
ladies should be placed in the bottom of the boat,
where the carpet was dry, and where being co-
vered over by a sail, they would be protected
from the spray, and might be enabled to get a
little sleep. To this Charlotte and her aunt rea-
dily agreed, but Margarita preferred to face the
danger and indulge in her own thoughts ; she
therefore remained at the side of her uncle watch-
ing the rapid approach of night, and marking
each variation in the storm that now raged around
A TALE OF THE WAR. 139
her in all its dread sublimity, prepared to meet the
last extremity of our suffering natiu'e.
Meanwhile the men, finding that the night was
to be passed thus, crept grumbling and jesting
into the fore cuddy, to stow themselves away in
tlie best manner that they could.
The first immediate risk being over, then' earliest
thoughts natm-ally reverted to their provision.
As for Charlotte, fi-om the first moment of their
being driven off the land, she had been able to
think of nothing else, but ha^'ing communicated
her thoughtless fi*ohc to Margarita, the latter had
strictly enjoined her not to mention the share she
had in the affair, but allow it to pass off as a mis-
take. The disapjDointment, — the consternation of
the party at finding themselves without food, made
them dumb, and they sat looking in one another's
faces in silent dispau*, until Puff and Bombast
mentioned that they had ordered the butler to send
into the boat the remains of a pasty, the excel-
lence of which they had proved at the breakfast-
table — " but it was a mere fi*agment, and they be-
lieved that there was a bottle of wine and one of
brandy put into the basket."
Charlotte felt as if reprieved firom a thousand
140 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
deaths; the horrors of the scene faded from her
eyes, and they were moistened with tears of un-
feigned joy. The basket was produced and a part
of its contents portioned out, and, if their sup-
per was scanty, they had never eaten with better
It may easily be supposed, that to the eyes of a
party so circumstanced, the approaches of sleep
would be gladly welcomed; and accordingly by
midnight every eye was closed. Margarita and
her uncle had joined the others beneath the
canoj)y, and she soon fell asleep in his arms, a
resting-place familiar from her infancy.
Garnet was the first to awake, just as day was
beginning to glimmer in the east, and after rub-
bing his eyes to recall the circumstances which
placed him in his present situation, he looked out
upon the waters, and to his astonishment beheld
the umuffled polish of a min'or, where but a few
hours since a tempest was sporting in all its
horrific grandeur, and destruction seemed to be
leaping as in joy among the mountains of foam
which the troubled elements heaved up.
It is true that a considerable swell remained,
but not a breath was to be seen rippling the sur-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 141
face wherever the eye might turn. It appeared as
if nature, tired out bv her own violence, had fallen
to sleep with those who had thus been exposed
to her fury. Satisfied that there was no danger
to be apprehended at present, the seaman gave
directions to the look-out to awaken him if any sail
hove LQ sight, or any breeze should haj^pen to
spring up, and then coiling himself down in the
stem-sheets, he proceeded to make up for the
anxiety of the preceding evening.
At ten o'clock they began to awake one by one,
each congratulating himself on the favourable
change of weather, and rejoicing in the disap-
pearance of the gale, that had so lately menaced
them. Brilliantly did the present scene contrast
with that of last night. The feiTid rays of the
sun shot down upon the lio^uid blue over which
they floated, and seemed to pierce to those far
regions below, where Fancy delights to picture
tlie court of the " Silver-footed Goddess."
It is a sad but a serious truth, with all our
imaginings and ^* longings after immortality," we
always require to be fed— that is, to be in comfort,
and th€se first emotions having passed from our
fiiends in the boat, a strange and strongly peccant
feeling within, hinted that they had rested almost
supperless on the evening before, and that they now
required a double share for breakfast. The last,
" Their lot forbade."
Having brought to view the remains of their
scanty provisions, it was divided into two por-
tions, the largest was reserved for the evening,
and the other distributed for an immediate meal.
Never was anything edible discussed more ea-
gerly, and the ceremony having been prolonged
to its utmost possible extent, there was no one
present that could not have disposed of four times
the quantity. However, the day was fine, and
sunshine alone can bid the heart to feel light ;
besides, they were in momentary expectation of a
breeze springing up to carry them in, and the appre-
hensions of the preceding day had therefore entirely
vanished. An hour passed, and no signs of a breeze
appeared, when to divert the increasing tedium. Lady
Sapphira proposed that they should each tell a story.
The proposal was excellent, but when they came
to the point, no one had a " regular good story"
to tell. Several began one, but very sjoeedily
breaking down again, discontinued them. In this
A TALE OF THE WAR. 143
dilemma, having much lamented the absence of
the Port Admiral and his never-failing stock, they
all sat musing and preparing to inflict on each
other the result of their cogitation.
" What a pity it is," said Bombast, " that I
haven't my last book of travels with me, it would
prove such a dehghtfid treat to us all — it is so
admirably — a-hem — written 1 — with so much
care ! for when I went out in my dear, dear old
ship, which I can never recall without tears spiing-
ing into my eyes, I took two tuns of ink in pun-
cheon, and stowed my booms with quills to write
my journal, which my friend ^lajor Puff has re-
printed four or five times — that is, with a few in-
terlinear different readings — in his invaluable peri-
odical, ' The United Blunderbuss Journal.' — There
I assure you, my Lady Sapphira, they form the
very staple commodity — the very best articles in
the work— eh Puff?"
" Oh very possibly so. Captain — universally ad-
mu'ed! I know when I was abroad at Cork —
Indeed I think I've one of the numbers with me,
I very seldom go abroad without one in my pocket ;
there is so much wit and pathos contained in them !
Yes, how fortunate ! here is one," handing it to
144 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
Nathaniel, who opened it at the end and found a
table of the deaths in the Channel fleet.
" Yes," said Nathaniel, " a great deal of pathos !
This, for instance — ' Returns for the year 17 ,
— ^killed by the Admiral's bullock — one.' Then
for the next year, under the same head, ' Killed
by the Admiral's bullock — none.'' " Not so bad.
Major. And is the journal always as good as this
number?" returning it to its wonderful editor,
" Oh yes, sir, generally speaking — very seldom
much inferior, though perchance a little now and
" In — deed! never knew it!" slowly ejaculated
Lady Sapphira. Dear me ! it must have cost you
a great deal of labour and money to get it up."
" Oh a great deal, my Lady — a vast deal, I as-
sure you. Captain Bombast and myself are inde-
fatigable at it. However, the most copious imagi-
nations will become exhausted ; and as we never
reprint Captain Bombast's travels and voyages
oftener than once throughout every six numbers ;
it does occasionally become necessary to employ
an extra hand. A very clever man, Mr. Smug, he's
our sub-editor, and pressman and compositor, and
A TALE OF THE WAR. 145
helps to black the types — a very good knack too of
making the ink has Smug — oh he's a useful man ! —
our complete factotum — thoroughly versed in naval
matters too ! — seeing he once went through the fleet."
" Truly, sir,"' said Nathaniel, " your's is a very
superior journal, and possesses unusual claims
upon public patronage."
" Oh ver}^, sir! quite so, sir! I tell you, sir,
'twas the admiration of every one when I was
abroad in Ireland. Besides, bless ye, all the in-
pensioners at Chelsea Hospital bestowed the very
highest encomiums upon it, more especially those
that were blind and deaf! Ah, Mr. Nathaniel, there's
nothing like it, depend upon it! But what we
chiefly shine in, sir, is our re\'iews ! Bless your
heart, su*, we'll review the pubhcations of a whole
month, perhaps two or three, in half a page!"
'' Oh indeed! and you never give any critique
longer than that r "
" Oh yes, sir, possib]^^ so, sometimes. For
instance, Captaiu Bombast and myself always
protect the High Tory party. Indeed, sir, we're
bound to do it on account of our connexions.
Why bless you, sir, both of us are very inti-
mately acquainted with the prime minister's under-
VOL. II. H
146 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
butler, and besides that, his head gi'oom is a very-
especial crony of mine. This being the case, as
I said before, we're bound to 'protect the High
Tory party ; so when any particular work comes
out on the democratic, or as those villains call it,
on the liberal side, why then you see, we all think
it incumbent upon us to make a dead set, that is,
if the book as we say, has made any sensation :
if not, you see it's wrong to draw down attention
upon it. Well you see, if the book has made any
noise, we sit down and write a long article slap
upon it. Then we get hold of another review of
it, to get an extract to quote, or perhaps bor-
row one of the volumes out of a library, which
saves us the trouble of reading it"
" Or the expense of buying it ? "
'' Oh no 1 it's not that, for if we read it, we
misquote some passages, and pretend to misun-
derstand others, until we have brought them to
suit our own words, as we always write the best
part of the review before we see the work, to
prevent its biassing our impartiality. Then next
we launch out into any other subject unconnected
with the book before us, to swell it out to a pro-
per length of ten pages, and conclude by desig-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 147
nating the author as a man bad enough for any
thing, or worse, for what we know. If he's a low-
bom man, we simply state the facts; if however
we tliink he's a gentleman, we do pretty much
the same, because it helps out the criticism ; only
in the latter case we take the precaution of saying
' we beheve — we should think — we suspect ' — and
"Indeed, Major Puff ! and so these criticisms
are received with a great deal of eclat? ''
" Oh very much so, su! because, you see, our
readers are generally among that class of people
who can never give aii opinion on any thing them-
selves, and just take what we find it right to offer
them. It's astonishing the few ideas foimd — "
'* Among your readers ? "
" Ah possibly so ! But even if that should be
the case, and they should dare to think differently
and the work should seU after that, I immediately
write a letter to the editcr— that's myself, — and pre-
tend that I know who the author is, and say that
he's all that the editor said he was, or something
more, if we can make it out. This done, instead
of signing it, ' Major Puff,' I sign it ' A Xaval
Officer;' and then oui' readers say ' Bless me, look
148 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
here's an impartial person, a third party come
forward to coiTob orate ! ' Oh sir, I assure you
there's no periodical going to be compared to the
' Blunderbuss Journal.' We're up to all the ma-
noeuvres of literary folks, high and low;— and,
would you believe it? the whole affair is got up by
myself, Captain Bombast, and Mr. Smug — not
another writer! We write all the letters, all the
reviews, reports — we write every thing, sir ! The
higher flights of fancy we take out of the captain's
log-book, mixing together a day out of one year,
and a day out of another, to make a little variety ;
and then his signature's so good always ! One month
' An Officer of Rank ! ' then another, ' A Compa-
nion of the Bath ! ' a third, * An Admiral of the
Wliite!^ — a most incomparable writer — a'nt you
" Nay now. Puff, you really ought to make me
blush ! though if the truth must be told, my father
always said that 1 had a wonderful knack at getting
up a good story out of wonderfully small materials .
and this praise was confirmed even by the na-
tives of the Longbow islands. In fact, — though
to be sure I feel some bashfulness in relating it —
one of the chiefs compared the flights of my ima-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 149
gination to the flight of an arrow from which the
vile barb has been taken away."
" As much as to say," interrupted Nathaniel,
" that your productions were without point, and
laid their claim to praise by possessing the stiff-
ness of a stick, with the garnish of a goose's
feather. As to your criticism, the only truth that
can be gathered from your account is, that not
one word of what you put forth is to be beheved."
" Oh sir ! I beg your pardon. You mistake, sir.
Now I'll let you into a secret by which you may
tell the true character of any book from any review.
Whenever you see a work excessively extolled by
a particular reviewer, for instance such jargon as
'out of sight the best book that has appeared
for years,' &c. suspect that the critic has some
interest at heart which dictates his praises. On
the contrary, when you see a work excessively
abused, without any extracts being brought for-
ward sufficient to sustain the abuse, or any com-
mendation being given to qualify it — more espe-
cially when you see the words, ass, blockhead, fool,
blackguai'd, tenns much in use with us critics now-
a-days, introduced — then you may always conclude
that there is some sterling stuff in the work reviewed,
150 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
and ten to one but the reviewer himself, and perhaps
some of his friends are touched up in it. The test
of an impartial and tnie criticism is, that however
high tlie praise, the faults— and the best produc-
tions must have some — are not studiously hid, and
vice versa, that however gi-eat the blame, the re-
deeming qualities are not artfully kept back or dis-
allowed. The dullest trash must somewhere possess
these, and the only exception is the vicious book,
and no good critic ever blamed the former with
anger; or the last, except with the stem but cool
reprobation of virtuous disgust. Therefore the cun-
ning critic who is up to snuff, and wants to d^mn
a book beyond all redemption, calls it vicious,
though perhaps at the same time he knows that
there's no more vice in it than there is in his father's
pocket-book, and perhaps not half so much."
We are told that even the devil himself can at
times grace his conversation with texts from Scrip-
ture, so even Puff in the present instance had
spoken what was true and just; and other conver-
sation succeeding, the hour arrived for their last
It requires no stretch of the imagination to con-
ceive that the slight morsel thus afforded to people
A TALE OF THE WAR. 151
almost famishing from hunger, and but so lately
in the possession of the strong appetites of health,
was but a poor substitute for their usual food.
The dinner, if such it might be called, passed
quickly, and erening gradually closed in around
them. Not the slightest zeph}T afforded its cool
breath to fan the burning wave on which all the
red glories of a dying sun were now gorgeously
emblazoned. The swell had gradually subsided,
their boat rolled gently along the crimsoned waters
without any perceptible progress. The vault of
heaven was cloudless, except in the west, where
the thin filmy fleeces that waited on the departing
luminary decomposed his rays, and formed the
' dying dolphin'* of the sky.
In hours such as these, when nature and her
God so clearly assert their majesty, let our ills be
what they may, they fade away and lessen before
the contemplation of grandeur, over which man
has control neither to diminish nor increase. The
First Great Cause seems to use the scenes of beauty
around us as a magnet by which our souls are
abstracted from things of less attraction around,
and drawn toward Himself, to partake in a slight
* " Dies like a dolphin."— Childe ' Habold.
152 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
degree of that immortality which is one of His
Situated as our unfortunate friends were, with
hope expiring in their bosoms as each quick mo-
ment winged its noiseless flight, it is scarcely to be
wondered at, that they should view the scene with
the most peculiar feehngs. The ordinary means
of life were cut off" from them — a horrible and
lingering death perhaps awaited them, and that
close at hand. Besides these reflections there
were others producing scarcely less pain in the
breast of Charlotte, and more especially in that of
Margarita. What would be the torturing suspense
of the Port Admiral, knowing that their purpose
was to have returned before sunset of the preced-
ing day ? Perhaps he already mourned them as
dead, and consigned as victims to the gale of
yesterday, those dear relations over whom a fiir
worse fate was impending.
Little was said, until the purple disk of the sim
had dipped its bm'ning circle in the western wave.
Rapidly it sank, leaving a long train of light and
glory in the skies, whose vividness and beauty
waned as swiftly as the brightest or dearest of
A TALE OF THE WAF. 153
To increase their distresses, the seamen, em-
boldened by the' absence of their proper officer, as
well as by the incapacity aheady displayed by
Bombast, began to murmur openly and shew signs
of a mutinous disposition. On this the Manel-
lous Captain attempted to reduce them to obedi-
ence, but was openly laughed at, and Nathaniel
seconding him, got into such a passion as made
matters worse. In this emergency, Margarita
interposed, and by her conciliating firmness and
mild expostulation, pointed out to them the mad-
ness of such a proceeding.
Her arguments had considerable efiect upon the
thoughtless men, who had murmured as much
fi-om a want of consideration as any thing else,
and then greatly influenced by persuasions com-
ing from such a quarter, they gradually followed
her advice ; some tried to amuse themselyes, and
others went to sleep. In such a case as this,
where the legal authority had been unluckily lost,
or I ought rather to say surreptitiously usurped, it
was only this sort of moral influence that could
weigh wdth them. "\Mien death approaches, the
sway of man oyer fellow man is lost ; the magic
and cherished influence of woman doubled : oyer
154 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
the minds of sailors her reign is more complete than
over the minds of any class of men existing. Of
this Margarita was aware ; she acted upon it and
gained her point, and fortunate it was that she
was present, for to such an end, Charlotte was un-
equal, and Lady Sapphira unfit. After contem-
plating the extreme beauty of the night for some
time, the sail was once more spread as an awning,
and they prepared to go to sleep as on the pre-
Every one was aware that in all probability their
existence depended on a breeze springing up on
the morrow, and for this blessing few slumbered
that evening without breathing a fervent prayer.
Often through that feverish night, did indivi-
duals of the little party wake up, inquiring, " Is
there any breeze yet?" " StiU dead calm!" was
the soiTowful answer, when the expectant in-
quirer having satisfied his own eyes, laid down
his exhausted body, and tried to lull with sleep,
a frame which vehemently craved for food. " Per-
haps the breeze would spring up at midnight?"
The last hour arrived, but the ocean slept fax
more tranquilly than could those who watched
ovei' it ! Then came those quick breathings of
A TALE OF THE WAR. 155
apprehension succeeded by an effort of Reason to
regain her reins over the agitated mind, and recall
Hope to her empire over their hearts. " Perhaps
between twelve and four the desired change in the
atmosphere might take place ? " Four came — and
all was motionless as a calm could be. Light was
dawning in the east — once more the lingering
trembler caught at the faint probability that with
the rise of the sun, the dull air might quicken
Slowly did that luminary beam upon the sunken
eye, and commence its career of splendour, as if
no one of its many million rays could light upon a
single scene of wretchedness ! Not a ripple broke
the lucid reflection of his resplendent image.
" Well then, " said the watcher, " perhaps
when he has gained a little height in his course ?
I recoUect often to have seen a calm give way
about eight o'clock."
Eight — nine — ten — eleven — were the hours suc-
cessively pointed out by the minute-hands on
their watches; yet their parched hps and fainting
frames were still as unrefteshed by the slightest
wave of the air as on the preceding day, while the
fervent heat of the sun beating on their heads,
156 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
augmented their distress to a dreadful degree. It
was now evident to all human appearance that
the calm would continue throughout that day
" How are we to reach its close?" was the
question asked of self by every sufferer.
The night of apprehension and anxiety which
they had past, the slight quantity of food that had
afforded them its sustenance, all contributed to
bring on a state of lassitude and faintness that
was truly wretched to witness, while the contem-
plation of the results to which it might lead, were
still more horrible. Want and misery were pic-
tured in the glances of all as they sat opposite
to one another, each commiserating the hollow
cheek, the frayed lip, and the fevered glow of eye
in the countenances around. On what could they
exist? There was nothing left saving a little
brandy and one breaker of water, holding about
nine gallons, as precious as any liquid could be,
and to which the title of aqua vitce would then
have been no misnomer. Yet what was this fo
fourteen persons? Again, supposing that the
breeze did spring up, could they fast that day
and night and the succeeding hours necessary
A TALE OF THE WAR. 157
for their getting into Plymouth, and yet expect to
sun-ive? The idea seemed hopeless, as was every
other view of their situation: death was staring
them in the face, and the most resigned prepared to
meet it, while the others broke out into deep and
bitter execrations, and showed all the agony of
creatures strugghng in the waters of a cataract
that was fast sweeping them to its falls.
What in this tremendous hour were the feelings
of poor Charlotte? Her sufferings were tenfold!
She viewed herself as the thoughtless being
through whose means this hideous fate had been
brought on so many of her fellow creatures! She
imagined that every countenance around her,
wrmig with pain and privation, and but too dis-
tinctly revealing the ravages of suffering within,
was turned reproachfully on her, and in each
glaring orb that glistened through want of aliment,
she could only behold the scowl of vindictiveness
and revenge. Then she thought of what would
have been the result, had not her sister prevented
her from disclosing the inconsiderate trick ! Pic-
tuiing to herself in a thousand honid shapes the
vengeance which she thought they would have
inflicted upon her, she reclined her head upon
Margarita's bosom, and wept in agony.
This emotion being attributed by those around,
to extreme privation, tended not a httle to aug-
ment their distress at beholding misery which they
were unable to alleviate, and which it might so
shortly be their own lot to encounter, such com-
miseration being increased to intensity by her
beauty, the knowledge of her extreme warmth and
kindness of heart, as well as their being usually
accustomed to behold her all gaiety and liveli-
ness. Margarita, though almost sinking herself,
knew what it was that weighed so heavy on her
sistei-'s spirits, and did every thing in her power
to console her. As, however, Charlotte's mental
powers of sustentation had given way as much
through sympathy with her physical deprivations
as from any other cause, argument could go but
a veiy short way in relieving her. It was now
noon, and the sea was still as ever. Their sufferings
were increasing with every minute that brought them
nearer to the dreadful alternative in view. Human
nature seemed gradually to be losing her affinities,
and man looked on man with an eye of hideous
A TALE OF THE WAR. 159
meaning, as if their bodily wants had subdued
each natural reluctance of the mind and the for-
bearance with which we in general behold our
fellow-creatures. Saving an occasional whisper or
remark, scarcely a word was spoken.
The individual who seemed to bear this stan^a-
tion best, was Nathaniel. Absorbed in his own
thoughts, his only effort at speaking was when he
addressed a few words of consolation to his nieces,
which he frequently did, after his own style ; and
the chief part of his pain seemed^ to arise from the
contemplation of Margarita's placid countenance,
where the flesh was already sinking and displaying
through its alabaster transparency the maze of
little blood-vessels that ramified beneath.
From his affectionate scrutiny, the calmness of
her deportment, and assumed tranquillity, failed to
mask the insidious vampire preying on her life-
blood. He held her already attenuated hand in
his, muttering from time to time, " Dearest
Margiee ! thou art surely suffering."
Let the extremity, however, be what it may, it
is seldom that man's wit is utterly unable to alle-
viate his distress. In the present instance, after
suffering for some time the pangs that attacked
160 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
them both from withm and without, the seamen
tliought of fishing, and managed to rig out two
hnes and catch a hake, a common fish in that part
of the Channel. They now found out that they
had no means of fighting a fire; the only resource
was to consume it without cooking, and as their
booty was of some size, their joy was excessive.
Margarita and Charlotte alone were unable to
partake of the blessing which afforded its relief to
the others ; to the entreaties of Puff, Bombast, and
the sophisms of Lady Sapphira they were equally
deaf, and begged that it might not again be men-
tioned to them — they prefeiTed staiTation, As
their objections seemed insuperable, the rest of the
party proceeded to divide the fish into lots, though
their happiness was much damped by the know-
ledge that the two most to be pitied could not
share it with them.
No sooner did the chaplain perceive that all the
pai'ty were served, than he turned towards his
nieces, whose faces were averted from the shocking
scene, and said, with a feigned air of recollection,
" Now I think of it, dear Girls, there is my
share of yesterday's pasty still untouched — ^you
shall dine on that. It grieves me to see you starv-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 161
ing when ever)- one else is comforting liimself P'
and taking the key of the after locker from his
pocket, he produced the dish containing his share
of the venison pasty, which the generous but rough
and eccentric chaplain had forborne to eat himself
on the day before, in order that he might reserv-e
it for the coming necessity of her he loved so
Up to this moment Margarita had controlled her
emotions. She had struggled manfully with the
pangs that had assailed her, nor had she struggled
in vain, and the proof of feminine weakness which
personal privation had been imable to wring from
her, this touching mark of tenderness at once drew
forth. Grasping his hand, she said, " My dearest
uncle, what must you not have suffered, without
food since the morsel of yesterday morning ?"
" Take it, dear Child; the joy of having it
to give to you more than takes away my suf-
ferings. Besides, you know that in ordinary life
I never indulge in spirit, so the brandy and water
has been a cordial to me." Charlotte could say no-
thing, but her gratitude was not the less apparent
to her warm-hearted relative. As for the sailors,
they were so much affected at this instance of self-
16*2 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
sacrifice and devotion, that they at once insisted
on his acceptmg the two shares that had been put
aside for his nieces. Here Puff and Bombast looked
up with the fond hope that he would give to them
a portion of such a superabundance ; but they were
disappointed, since the old gentleman allowed the
desirable morceaux to remain beside him, while
with a half reluctant physiognomy he consumed
his own share.
It was now five o'clock, and tw^o teaspoonsful of
brand}^ having been served out to each individual
witli a due proportion of water, they prepared to
take their rest once more. The timely succour
which had been afibrded to them, had raised their
spirits in an unexpected degree, and they pre-
pared to fast until the morning, with a resigna-
tion unknown to them before.
Slight as the morsel was which Nathaniel had
so generously saved, yet to such delicate appetites
as those of the two sisters, it proved almost as
much as they might have dared to eat in their
present state. It was tlierefore with far more
tranquil feeUngs that they beheld the sun once
more sinking into the amber waves, which his
•occidental splendour illumined.
A TALE OF THE WAE. 163
" Cease every joy to glimmer on my mind,
But leave, O ! leave the light of Hope behind."
As Margarita placidly contemplated the still scene
around, and watched tlie young moon rising in
the east, she recalled tliat evening, when on the
terrace of her hap]3y home she had \vitnessed
a similar scene ; more beautiful certainly, but far
less grand than now, when the first quarter of the
pale planet vras glowing tremblingly in the firma-
ment, and reflected with the utmost brilliancy fi-om
the glittering and boundless expanse suiTounding
them. Yet it was not nature or her chai'ms which
encircled that recollection with so much tender-
ness and pleasure. No — she was unconsciously
imaging to herself the dark features of him whose
voice she had that night heai'd for the first time
in song! A thousand singular conjectm'es and
ideas came mingled with the remembrance of him ;
164 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
but none of them served to elucidate the mystery
with which he appeared to be enshrouded, and
while she mutely wondered whether he really
loved her sister, she was in reality examining if
he loved herself.
When love first comes upon the heart, we
are partly unaware of its approach, and partly
determined not to be sensible of it; and thus
Margarita warmly nursed the early germs of a
passion which, had she known herself, she would
instantly have discountenanced from principle.
So strict was she in the habit of the last virtue,
that no sacrifice was in her view too great to be
offered to it. After the conversation held with
Chai'lotte, she would readily have given up her
own affections to this feeling.
The morning dawned once more, but it was
like the one which preceded, brilliant but calm.
With renewed hope they had recourse to their
lines, but no success attended their labours. Even-
ing came round, and all that they possessed to sus-
tain their famishing frames were the two extra
portions which the crew had given to Nathaniel,
and which he now restored to them. This dread-
fully scanty pittance having been eked out with
A TALE OF THE WAR. 165
a few drops of brandy and water, the crew sought
repose. As for Margarita and her sister, this, to
them nauseous potation, was all that they were
able to take.
Scarcely had they swallowed then* teaspoonfid of
brandy and half a pint of water, when the heavy
clouds that had been gradually gathering over-
head during the afternoon, began to discharge
their contents on the heads of the ill-fated party
below, as if death, before he poimced upon his
prey, must needs enjoy the utmost possible ex-
tent of their miser}'. Having secured the sail
which sened for an aiming, m such a manner as
to i:atch the rain that fell on it, the men quietly
awaited the issue of the day.
The hopes of the morning, where had they
fled } There was the sea, air, sky, the same Provi-
dence ruled over the last, the same elements of
the breeze remained m the second, nor were the
tenants of the first less numerous or more shy ;
yet the hearts that but a few hours since had
viewed this same situation with the light feelings
of men confident in a speedy deUverance, now
looked forth upon the scene with the phrenzy of
despair or the savage recklessness of men doomed
166 THE POET ADMIRAL,
to perdition. Yet of all amid the groupe, none
could have excited such feelings of compassion as
the fair twins.
In the face of Charlotte famine and mental
agony were both visible, as she sat leaning her
arm on her sister's shoulder, while the tears slowly
coursed one another over cheeks whose beauty
was almost scared away. In Margarita's counte-
nance, however, the expression seemed almost
as tranquil and gentle as in her hours of ease,
but it was the sharp prominent lines around
the blue orbits of her sunken eyes, the thin nos-
tril, the wasted cheek and lips, and the fair chin
whose usual roundness had vanished, that informed
the beholder of the anguish disguised under so
much seeming equanimity. As for Lady Sapphira,
she appeared most to resemble a leathern bottle,
the which, as it is not much increased by any soak-
ing, neither is it to be diminished by any process
of evaporation. To the heart of Nathaniel, the
deplorable and fast sinking state of his nieces,
gave the utmost anguish. Yet what was it in his
power to effect ?
The fourth morning at last arrived, and the un-
broken smoothness of the wave was now viewed
A TALE OF THE WAR, 167
with a sullen rage and despair. Both party and
crew had the appearance of spectres, but the poor
sisters looked wretched indeed ! It was scarcely
possible to imagine that one night could have
effected so lamentable a change. Charlotte was
speechless, her dull eye, secluded within its Hd,
seemed oppressed mth a deathlike torpor, and
the first approaches of inanition were plainly vi-
sible. Margaiita still bore up against the cruel
destiny to which she was exposed, and her voice
though excessively languid, yet retained its native
plaintiveness and melody.
To the reiterated entreaties of her uncle' that
she would partake of the miserable food they had
to offer, she rephed, by firmly begging him not
to mention what pained her more than all the
pangs of starvation. But a few teaspoonsful of
brandy remained, and they were cheerfidly given
up by the crew to the dreadful extremities of those
whose sufferings naturally excited their pity in a
pre-eminent degree. Having administered to their
wants as far as the dreadful occasion pennitted,
the rest of the party felt themselves doomed to
the still worse lot of witnessing the last expiring
agonies of those they loved — of two young beings
168 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
whose appearance at once excited that interest
which their virtues maintained. After receiving
the spirit, they appeared to rally; then as its ex-
citement subsided, a cold shivering crept over
them, and a twitching of the limbs became appa-
rent, accompanied by a violent ague.
" Wrap me from the cold !" comprised the only
faint words which Margarita was now able to utter,
while Charlotte, whose voice was entirely gone,
could shew by the movement of the features alone,
the agonies which she was enduring. Despite Na-
thaniel's stoicism, the tears ran down his withered
cheek, as he frantically folded Margiee to his heart
and pressed her bloodless lips to his, ejaculating,
" Dearest child ! that thou shouldst ever have come
to this!" and again administering to them two
teaspoonsful of brandy, he proposed wrapping
their feet in a boat-cloak and laying them down
in the bottom of the boat.
" Here, your Honour, take my jacket," unani-
mously murmured each of the sailors, in voices thick
from emotion ; and in an instant the whole of their
eight coats were thrown into the steerage, to form
a bed for the poor dying girls, and not a heart
among that rude crew but felt agonies,' if possible.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 169
surpassing theirs. On the moment, Nathaniel
stripped off his own, and insisted on the same
from Bombast and Puff, who thought fit to comply
with the request, after having mutually asked each
other in an indistinct grumble, whether " they
might not catch cold ? "
^' ' Mors janua vitce.^ We ought to be very
thankftil that we have held out so long ! " sohlo-
quized Lady Sapphira in an under tone.
The remains of the tattered mainsail being
folded under their heads as a pillow, with some of
the jackets, the remainder were kept to spread
over their boat-cloak. The poor sisters were then
gently laid together between, with the faint hope
of preserving for a little space to come, that vital
spark that was so near its melancholy extinction.
Hope appeared to have taken her final depar-
ture. Garnet mechanically drew up the lines one
after another, but so httle did he expect to find
any fish taken, that the failure excited little disap-
pointment. The men lay down on the deck
to die, motionless from exhaustion, or momentarily
starting as some pang more keen than tlie rest
shot through their agonized frames. The party
sat watching with dimmed eyes and bmrsting
VOL. II. I
170 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
hearts, those two dear forms at their feet, while
their scorched lips mutely moved in prayer, which
they had not the faith to think would be granted.
The tardy hour of noon had at length dragged
itself on, and the only sustenance now left to the
famishing party was a draught of water, while the
remaining brandy, amounting in aU but to three
teaspoonsful, was divided and poured down the
almost inanimate throats of the expiring twins.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 171
The soft warm hand of youth
Recalled their answering spirits back from death,
Each pulse to animation."
Sense already appeared to have taken its final
flight, though the vital povrers were not quite
extinct. They took no notice of the brandy being
given to them, nor betrayed signs of Ufe, fuiiher
than by a slight gurgling sound that annoimced
the extreme difficulty of deglutition.
Nathaniel, on seeing this, knelt do\^n by their
side in an agony of woe. Bending his face near
theirs to catch the sHghtest indication of the
quickened spirit, he remained motionless for seve-
ral minutes'. Not the faintest breath was dis-
tinguishable. Not the slightest degree of warmth
seemed to issue from those lovely lips, once ex-
172 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
pressing the tenderest emotions of joyousness or
sympathy, compassion, sorrow, or regret, now
alas! thinned by famine and all but rigid, under
the stem obstructing hand of death.
Wringing his hands in despair, he gazed upon
their still symmetrical figures, and while his tears
dropped burning on their chilly and palhd brows,
he supplicated Heaven that such a fate might not
be consummated. The paroxysm passed; and as
he once more looked down upon them, the harsh
lines of his countenance relaxing, evinced more
resignation to the heart-rending doom. Taking
up one of the small feathers lying near him, he
held it to their lips, but it was unmoved. Those
who watched his face at this moment, might
have seen the evidences of the anguish that
wrung his heart. Passing his hand across his
brow, as if debating what could be done, he
remained standing for a few seconds, while his
vacant eye wandered involuntarily along the hori-
zon. " Surely that is a gull.?" he remarked to
Garnet, suddenly pointing out a white speck at
some distance. " Oh if it would please the Lord
that we might catch it ! "
" A gull, your Honour?" said the seaman, scruti-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 173
nizing. "That — that — that is — Good God'
"Are you ill, Garnet?" quickly inquired the
Chaplain with much alarm, putting forth his arm
to support the agitated seaman, who could only
reply, as he sank upon the deck, " The Lord has
sent us a sail at last ! "
"^A sail!'" repeated Nathaniel, staring wildly,
and scarcely less moved than the other.
"'^ sailP^' reechoed ten voices in tones
discordant with joy, when the nimblest remaining
among them climbed up the mast, and not only
confirmed their conjectures, but reported that she
was bringing a fine breeze dov^Ti to them, since
he could see it rippUng the surface for a mile on
either side of her.
WTio can conceive all the joy of the sufferers at
this moment? Alas! only those who have ex-
perienced a similar reprieve, from a death equally
horrid. Perhaps these also can imagine the
bitter grief of Natlianiel as he recurred to his
nieces, and the overwhelming idea that possessed
him, tJbat their spirits might have fled beyond
recalL It was indeed a maddening reflection, that
they, by whom the pangs of privation had been
most deeply felt, should be the only individuals
174 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
for whom deliverance was not reserved ; that they
whom beauty, youth, and virtue, most fitted to en-
joy and to delight the world, should be the selected
victims to whose bright eyes its fading glories
were never more to be unfolded !
" Had I only but another teaspoonful of
brandy?" muttered the kind Chaplain, clasp-
ing his hands, then adding in a Jess nervous tone,
" But it is not for me to complain. He who sends
life into the mighty elements, can surely prolong,
or even revive it in His helpless chikben." Once
more kneeling down by their side, he pulled out
his hunting-w^atch — then but lately invented,
and only used among the rich — and having opened
and wiped the inside of the bright gold lid, he
held it over the parched lips of Margarita. The
anxiety with which he tremblingly kept it in its
position, gave way to a look of extreme happiness,
as he beheld the vapour which dulled the polish
of the gold. On the instant he repeated the same
experiment with Charlotte, and though with less
success, there was still sufficient to wan*ant the
hope that all was not yet over. The tears which
had formerly flowed from excess of misery, were
now succeeded by those of extravagant delight.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 175
mingled ^vith the most sacred drops of gratitude,
and few were the moistless eyes which that boat
On their first discerning the approaching sail,
they had hoisted a small union-jack made fast to
a boat-hook, which the man at the mast-head was
to wave. In addition to this, tliey luckily pos-
sessed an ensign which they now displayed upside-
down, the signal of disti'ess. Half an hour had
elapsed, since the sti'anger was first descried ;
owing to their being so low on the water, she was
then only seven miles distant, and by this time the
space separating the vessels was no more than two
The lighter airs preceding the greater body of
the breeze, began at length to unfold their ensign,
on perceiving which, the stranger instantly crowded
all his studding sails and came gallantly on, under
a press of canvass below and alofl. The men now
standing on the deck could behold several little
specks in the rigging of the sti*anger, who were in
their turn reconnoitring oiu: friends with glasses.
She approached them now with vast rapidity, and
as the waves curled in foam under her fore-foot,
she appeared more Hke a native of the element
176 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
over which she shot along, and coeval in her
origin with the monsters of the deep, than a mere
thing of art, and the creation of the pigmy who
rules a world, beside the paltriest feature of which
he is utterly insignificant. But no, I will not re-
cord such a sentence — man has mind and to that
incomprehensible essence it is in vain that nature
would endeavour with her mightiest barriers to set
one limit or effectual bound 1
" What is he think you, Jack?" asked one of
the sailors of Garnet.
" Faith, boy ! I can't tell, — she hoists no en-
sign ; but this I know, she's a ship, and if she
were the Dutchman, I'd go aboard of her ! "
" Well but how is it that she doesn't shorten
sail ? She comes tearing along right for us, and
for anything we know, she may be a Johnny
Crappo going to run us down."
Indeed there was some slight ground for such
an apprehension, since the stranger was within
the distance of a quarter of a mile, steering di-
rectly for our little bark, at the rate of some ten
miles an hour. In an instant, and with the cele-
rity of magic, the whole mass of sail was reduced,
shewing a small but beautifully formed vessel, with
A TALE OF THE WAR. 177
three masts, at some two hundred yards distance.
Though her velocity was thus diminished, it was
far from destroyed, and while the cry of horror
at being run down was yet upon the hps of our
friends, the stranger had sheared their boat suffi-
ciently close to allow the leap of a young man, from
the stranger's taffi*ail, upon their cuddy, while the
stranger rounded to under their stem, and shot up
a-head to windward on the other bow. On re-
corering from their apprehension, our friends
looked up, and beheld in their dehverer the per-
son of Captain Croiser !
He neither saw nor addressed any of his former
acquaintance, now pouring forth their thanks
around him — he only beheld the sad spectacle
which the bottom of the boat cUsplayed to his
view. The silent agony which lie endured, I leave
to the imagination of those who have intensely
loved. He stood as if suddenly an*ested in his
leap, and while excessive agitation gave him no
words for utterance, he pointed towards the sadly
altered form of ^largarita, and shaking his hand
with impatience, mutely demanded an explanation
of what he saw.
Those aroimd him seemed scarcely less as-
178 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
founded than himself, and they remained as
silent, when putting forth an arm at random to
catch the support of the nearest person, and tot-
tering one step forward, he said in a quick broken
voice — " They have been starved ! "
" Why," replied the Chaplain, who still re-
mained kneeling at their side and chafing their
temples, " you may judge for yourself, but at
least they very soon will be — seeing they have
eaten no rational food for the last three days —if
instant relief be not afforded to them."
" I thought so — I saw your ensign reversed — I
recognized your face and Lady Sapphira, and I
asked myself what could you be doing here " — then
without waiting a reply, he instantly turned to-
wards his vessel, and hailed " Tarpaulin ahoy!
Lay your vessel gunwale-to — alongside here, and
whip a cot out fi'om your main-yard-aim ! Quick,
for your life ! "
" Ay, ay, sir!" was the answer heard in the
gruff voice of Nine-Fathom-Tim, whose bulky
form, like a modern Ajax or a living Martello
Tower, now upreared itself on the schooner's
The fore and maintopsails being quickly sheeted
A TALE OF THE WAR. 179
home, she was in a few seconds laid in the de-
- sired position, and her commander's cot suspended
by a tackle fi'om the main-yard, was lowered into
the launch. Croiser hfting up Margarita in his
arms, placed her carefully within the canvass
couch, while Nathaniel and PuiF being less strong,
performed the same office for Charlotte. Having
been gently hoisted in-board, Croiser followed
with his hand still upon the cot, and giving it to
six men to bear it aft upon their shoulders, the
sky-hghts were taken off from the cabin, and the
exhausted sufferers warily lowered below.
" WTiat's all this? what's all this, Croiser?" was
quickly demanded in French, by an individual
whom I have not time to describe at this moment,
any further than by saying, that in person he was
short and somewhat sHght, that his very high and
noble forehead was a natural patent of his soul's
nobility; that his features were at once marked,
decisive, ftdl, and fair, and that an eagle might
well have quailed before his piercing dark grey
eye. His whole appearance and carriage were
noble and commanding, and he trod as one un-
accustomed to an equal, in intellect or rank.
180 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" These are the daughters of the Port Admiral
at Plymouth, Sir Richard Salisbury," returned
Croiser immediately, with the most marked de-
ference : " it seems they set out on a party of
pleasure, have been detained by a calm, and are
nearly dead from famine."
" Ah how shocking ! " returned the Frenchman,
involuntarily uttering an exclamation of pain as he
clenched his little hands and contracted his brow
at the bare imagination of the misery which they
must have undergone. " FoUow me, Croiser, let
us see to them," he added, rapidly making his
way to the cabin below, while Croiser, having
given a quick order to Tarpaulin to see every
assistance rendered to the rest of the party,
quickly descended to Margarita's side. Feeling
the delicacy of then- situation, Croiser's first care
was to seek out Lady Sapphira as the only
female on board, and beg her assistance.
" Dear me. Captain Croiser, I am dying myself!
But it is very true — my nieces certainly but
could you order me — I am so famished — to be
sure, I say, I'll see to them, but could you order
me a lamb chop ? — or maybe you've a nice cook — I
A TALE OF THE WAR. ISl
heard some people speaking French, so let it be a
delicate /ricandeau de veau. Where is poor Mar-
giee? And by the bye, T should not dislike a
glass of eau de vie^ I know yours is the true
" Yes, yes, my Lady, any thing — every thing;
only for mercy's sake this way ! Steward ! brandy,
and the best that you have to eat. This way
Lady Sapphixa, think while we delay, life may be
" Indeed — ne — ver — knew it ! So here they are !
WTiy bless me how ill they look still ! Why what
had better be done ? Margarita ! Chaiiotte ! Wliy
dear me they don't answer yet I "
" Tut — tut — tut," interrupted the Frenchman,
whom we shall for tlie present call Monsieur
Rannolini. — " Bah, Croiser I Xinny that thou art,
to bring me this old fool ! Send her away to her
spinning-wheel — these things are only in the way
in an emergency like this I "
" I brought her on account of her sex — as
" Truly! And which is the best; the delicacy
that lets them die, or the attention that restores
182 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
them ? You have studied a Uttle of surgery — you
are here as a surgeon — I as an old married
man — Enough of that — let us be prompt; we
want to recover the vital heat, do we not? Then
where is my eaii de Dmitzic ? and get the stove
lit instantly, and order my cot here with half a
dozen additional blankets; and above all, I say,
beat that old woman's retreat ! "
"I will. Monsieur. Steward! Quick — the eau
de Dmitzic! Light the fire, bring the other cot,
take six or seven blankets out of store, and pass
the word forwai'd to heat a dozen shot, and as
much water as possible. Now, Lady Sapphira, I
dare say they have something ready for you, and
" Yes yes, exactly, perhaps I had better sup-
port myself w4th a little something at first, and
then I shall be better enabled to assist you after-
wards. Hah! there are Captain Bombast and
his fiiend the Major! I'll join them, and then
I shall be sure to be among the best that's
Croiser, havmg disposed of my Lady, quickly
returned to the after-cabin, on the deck of which
A TALE OF THE WAR. 183
the cot had been lowered. The Frenchman was
on one knee, his expressive features lighted up
with all the animation that bespoke the extreme
energy of liis character, only seen to its fall ex-
tent in a moment of danger. He had succeeded
in pouring a table-spoonfiil of the golden h-
queur through their parched lips, and was now
very busily employed in chafing the outside of
Charlotte's throat with hartshorn, while on the
other side of the cot was Nathaniel performing
the same kind office for Margarita. Having in-
stantly joined the latter, Croiser rendered ever}^
assistance in his power, with all that alacrity
which love adds to compassion, and aU the effec-
tiveness which talent combined with ardour can
Having brought forth all the stimuli which his
smaU medicine-chest afforded, he set to work
chafing their benumbed and delicate little i^QX^ until
retiuning warmth began to be exhibited. By this
time the cannon shot ^^'ere sufficiently heated,
and each ball having been tied up in a piece of
blanket, they were disposed at the various extre-
mities where it was necessary to excite the circu-
184 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
lation. A very large kettle was then brought in
and placed on the fire by Croiser's direction, and
while M. Rannolini was inquiring for what use it
was intended, his friend opened a case containing
a very large and splendid Turkish hookhah-pipe.
Tearing off the flexible tube from the cut glass
bowl, Croiser affixed it to the spout of the caul-
dron whence the steam was issuing in volumes,
and removing the amber mouth-piece introduced
it into the foot of the cot, which was speedily
filled by the boiling vaj)our thus communicated.
"Hah! that is admirable — that is clever!"
quickly remarked M. Rannolini, his eyes sparkling
at the ready invention of a temporary steam-bath,
displaying the ingenuity so conspicuous in sea-
men. The good effects of these measures soon
began to be made apparent; the pulsations of
their young hearts, though low, could soon be
plainly distinguished, a throbbing of the Umbs
succeeded to their former inanimate listlessness.
Two table-spoonsful of the liqueur were now ad-
ministered to each. The pulse at the wi'ist be-
came perceptible once more, vital warmth could
again be felt in their feet, and very shortly, to the
A TALE OF THE WAR. 186
inexpressible joy of those who so tenderly watched
over them, their features were agitated as if by
the throes of returning sensibihty.
Their exertions were, if possible, redoubled — no
expedient was left untried, and the cot having
been now filled with steam for some time, Croiser
had recourse to Lady Sapphira again. Her lady-
ship was by this time, as she termed it, " much
comforted," and the necessity of the case being
forcibly impressed upon her, she was begged to
exert herself to the utmost, in disrobing her
nieces of their damp garments, and transferring
them to the heated woollens of the other cot pre-
pared for the purpose.
Being left to herself, my Lady managed to
effect tluB, much to the surprise and satisfaction
of Croiser and Rannolini, and that in a shorter
time than they had allotted. ^Mien admitted once
more, they persevered in their former course, and
by the apphcation of fresh shot and repeated doses
of the cordial, they had at length the supreme
satisfaction of seeing these " sisters of the sea," as
RannoHni styled them, open thjeir eyes.
With what rapture and transport did Croiser
first gaze upon those light hazel orbs, which,
186 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
though sunk and dimmed, yet contained for him
expression beyond all utterance — that expression
which he could have wished to study and peruse
for ever. They opened, and then their long
silken lashes closed once more, as if to shut out
the beams whose first radiance was as yet too
strong for them. Again they were unclosed, and
as Croiser whispered gently in her ear, " Mar-
garita !" and bending near, seemed to drink with
delight her first returning breath of Ufe, her
faithful memory recognized her deUverer, while
her gentle and half conscious smile more than
As returning consciousness grew more evident, a
perception of where she was, and who surrounded
her, drew the banished blood back to her cheek,
still her voice was too faint to admit of any distinct
articulation. Croiser, seeing her confusion, in-
stantly withdrew to the other side to see how
Charlotte fared. As the latter had been less able
to support it throughout, her recovery was some-
what slower. The moment was however patiently
waited for, and every advantage taken of it. On her
recognizing Croiser, her surprise seemed greater,
and her acknowledgments as warm as Margiee's,
A TALE OF THE WAR. 187
though not so grateiiil to his heart. By nine
o'clock that night aU danger was considered as
past, and Croiser therefore lost no time in putting
four of his men into the launch, and sending her
back to Plymouth, to announce to Sir Richard
Salisbury, the recovery of his daughters, and their
immediate an^ival within a day or two.
The wind was at that time fan*, but the Pearl,
(for to this name Croiser had, since his acquaint-
ance -^-ith Margarita, changed the appellation of
his vessel,) being brought-to to prevent her rolling
before the ^\dnd and affecting his fair patients,
was stationary for the night. Scarcely, however,
was the launch fairly on her way, than he felt al-
most tempted to call her back, under the idea that
he should reach the port before her. " But let
her take her chance, it's just as well," thought he,
" she must have had the hands* in her to take
her back, and I have no occasion for her keeping
One half of the cabin, including the fire-place,
being screened off for the patients, Croiser and
Nathaniel kept watch alternately outside, and were
unremitting in their attention. A long and placid
* The men are often termed " hands."
188 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
slumber succeeded their restoration to life. Sooth-
ingly did each long drawn breath fall on the ear
of the young watcher, and if he stole to take a
glance of her who slept, more frequently than her
existence absolutely demanded, we must remem-
ber that the soft spell of her loveliness was thrown
around his heart, and drew him towards her with
a delightful and natural attraction.
When morning came, they were at length able
to speak, and express those feelings of joy and
gratitude which had before found no interpreter
but the eye. Even already they began to lose
that spectral appearance which they had so lately
worn. With Charlotte's senses, returned her flow
of spirits, and having inquired whether Lady Sap-
phira had gone off with the marvellous Captain to
the Longbow Islands, she requested leave to get
up. This request it was thought proper to deny
for the present. On inquiiing what was the state
of the weather, and learning that it was a calm,
they showed even here, w^hen surrounded by every
comfort and security, some slight return of that
dread with which it had so lately and so awfully
Sir Richard Salisbury, having at an early period
A TALE OF THE WAR. 189
of his life spent two years in a French prison, had
become thoroughly acquainted with the language,
and his subsequent career proyed it to be of so
much use that it was one of the first accomplish-
ments in which his daughters were instructed ; de-
spite of his thorough-British hatred of eyery thing
and person that might, howeyer remotely, be styled
Monsieur RannoUni no sooner beheld the fiill
dark laughing eye of Charlotte, than he acknow-
ledged its power. Her knowledge of his lan-
guage, at that time not so general among us as at
present, greatly added to tliis effect, and on the
second day, when she was enabled to rise and
conyerse with him, her sprighthness and good
temper completed the conquest which her beauty
had begun ; and for M. Rannohni, he was most
His busy life haying hitherto passed almost
solely among men, and his genius and feeHngs
haying led him to take the yan in the perilous strife
of his fellow-creatures, he had enjoyed but Uttle
opportunity for cultivating any particular predi-
lection for the gentler sex. To Charlotte the no-
velty of his acquamtance, the vast fund of informa-
tion which he possessed, the various countries he
had seen, his commanding look and manner, all
had their charm ; and if at first she thought of
Croiser, she beheld him so taken up with Marga-
rita that her scruples vanished, and she determined
to enjoy the delights of a new flirtation. Na-
thaniel, delighted at the restoration of his nieces,
relapsed into his usual state of reverie, and walked
the deck or read a book, while Lady Sapphira en-
tered into much edifying converse with the marvel-
lous Captain and the wonderful Major.
"The Peaii of the Ocean" seemed indeed no
unapt name for Croiser's vessel, since she was
fitted up with every care for her men, and every
luxury for her commander. Her original destiny
appeared to have been difierent fi-om the end
which she now answered, since besides the two
state cabins, the length of which extended firom
side to side, her steerage was fitted with four
additional berths of much less proportions. At
this juncture they proved most useful. M. Ran-
nolini occupied one, and Croiser, Nathaniel, and
Bombast, the others, while Puff was but too
happy to get a hammock. One of these small
cabins belonged to the mate, Nine-Fathom-Tim,
A TALE OF THE WAR. 191
" but," said he, " I scorns to be stowed away in a
coffin, afore ould death's knocked the breath out
of my body."
The present state of the weather, which still
continued calm, was the only thing which de-
tracted from their happiness. The person who
appeared to bear this delay \^'ith the least resigna-
tion was Rannolini. To him not even the sprightly
converse of Charlotte could reconcile such a pro-
crastination. Often, when walking the deck with
her, he woidd suddenly pause, and looking forth
upon the imperturbed waters, he would stamp
his foot with impatience, exclaiming, " Bah ! Is
not this annoying.? Fortune, thou hast not used
me kindly! Croiser, can we do nothing? Nothing
to get on, till this provoking wind comes?"
" Nothing Gen " , Crosier would reply very
respectfully — then correcting himself — " Nothing
at all, M. Rannolini ! "
" Is it not annoying ? " the other would con-
tinue, turning to Charlotte.
" No," replied the latter, unaccustomed to see
such sHght store set on her society. " I think you
ought to consider yourself very well off. If it
were not that the daring in your countenance
192 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
proves you to belong to the nation of Buonaparte,
I should say, from your want of gallantry, that
you were no Frenchman 1 "
" Ah, that Buonaparte !" interrupted Rannolini,
his eyes sparkling at the mention of the name.
" Apropos of him. What a pretty fellow he is !
What a charlatan ! "
'' ' A charlatan,' you ungrateful creatin*e ? You
a Frenchman, and speak in that way of a man
who has made your nation every thing ? Whose
genius has not only saved you from foreign domi-
nion, but raised France to her former state as one
of the first nations in the world ! You to call him
a charlatan? Why if it had not been for him,
you would have been cutting one another's throats
in Paris till this very hour ! ' A charlatan ! ' I
declare I won't walk an instant longer with you —
I idolize him ! " As she said this, the spirited girl
withdrew her arm from Rannolini, and ran a\vay
to another part of the deck.
" Forgive me then, my fair censor ! " said he,
following her, " I did not expect to meet with
such admiration of the French Consul in an
English-woman ! "
" What then, do you suppose the Enghsh
A TALE OF THE WAR. 193
cannot admire what is great, if it happens to
bestow its splendour the other side of Dover
Straits? Do you think that twenty-one miles
ought to make such a difference ? No indeed ! I
shall have nothing to say to you, unless you
confess that my idol is a perfect hero, and the
greatest man Hving ! "
" Nay then, if that really be the case, I must
confess that I was joking, since I have the honour
of knowing General Buonaparte."
" Have you ? Then do tell me all about him.
I should so hke to see him ! Where is he now ? "
" I cannot name the exact spot. A\Tien I left
Paris, he had just departed on a visit to the coast,
and various rumours were afloat. Some affirmed
his visit to be a preparatory step to his landing in
" Do you think that he'll come ? Oh how I
should like to see such a hero! Now you're a
dear man — I'll give you my arm again ! Tell me —
describe him to me — tell me every thing that you
know about him." And Charlotte as eagerly
seized his arm now, as she had before been hasty
in relinquishing it.
Rannohni, on his part, seemed to take particular
VOL. II. K
194 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
pleasure in fulfilling her request, and while he
gave her his support, he related the scene which
had so lately taken place at a grand levee of the
First Consul, when the last individual openly re-
buked Lord Whitworth for the suspicions which
the King's Speech contained. He then pro-
ceeded to describe very minutely, the private
habits of Napoleon, the manner and person of
Josephine, of whom he spoke most favourably.
He also gave a description of the state of Paris
and Parisian society at that moment; the feel-
ings of the people relative to the rupture of the
Treaty of Amiens ; the general enthusiasm of the
army; the rumours as to what were the steps
most likely to be pursued by the modern Caesar,
and many other little pieces of information which
perfectly dehghted the volatile Charlotte.
Dazzled — as indeed who might not be ? — by the
halo which his genius had cast around him, to the
highly susceptible mind of Charlotte, the character
of Napoleon appeared truly heroic ; despite of the
atrocious calumnies which at that time unjustly
blotted his name. Her enthusiasm leading her to
believe that all these reports were exaggerated,
the actual shade which they flung upon his
A TALE OF THE WAR. 195
fame, only sensed to heighten her admiration
of the daring chief of the French repubhc.
The reader, after this, may readily conceive her
delight at meeting with one who could give her so
many of those details which she longed to hear ;
and in the height of the feehng which these ex-
cited, she asked whether it was not possible to
put back to France — from which the Peaii had
only started the day before their providential ren-
contre—and by going to Paris, get a sight of her
favourite. RannoUni starting at this proposition,
smiled at her wild romance, and assured her that
it was impossible, just as she had recollected her-
self sufficiently to call to mind the distress in
which the good old Port Admual must be, until
their safe arrival.
They had now been on board four days. Their
health had become rapidly re-established, and ever}^
one was longing for a termination of the calm.
During its continuance, they breakfasted at eleven,
amused themselves throughout the day by conver-
sation, chess, and backgammon, until dinner at four.
Rannolini always rose quickly from this meal,
without sitting over the dessert, saymg, " Come,
196 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
Croiser, let us take a walk;" they then paced the
deck for an hour. In these walks he was very fond
of leaning on the young captain's shoulder — pre-
sently he would pause, crossing his arms on his
breast, and if out of hearing, would give way with
great volubility and slight occasional action to
the developement of those gigantic plans on the
execution of which they were both bent. Croiser
listened with the most profound interest and re-
spect, mingled with affectionate regard. Sud-
denly, Rannolini would end his disquisition with
the rapid question," You see that — eh? " and without
waiting for an answer, would cross his hands be-
hind him and walk on at Croiser's side, as if in
intense thought. After a pause of some minutes,
he would as suddenly look up with a smile of
the utmost affability, and putting forth his hand
gently pinch his young companion by the ear,
and after addressing to him one or two playful
remarks, turn round quickly, saying, " Come,
Croiser, let us join the ladies at their vingt et un.
They would descend to the cabin, where the rest
of the party were sitting down to their coffee,
and having partaken of this beverage, cards were
A TALE OF THE WAR. 197
produced, at the especial desire of M. Rannolini,
who seemed to take an unusual interest in this
He always persisted in sitting next to Charlotte,
who was no way displeased at the coiu't paid to
her, and in return agreed to enter into partnership
with him. This being arranged, their whole plan
throughout the game was trying which could cheat
to the greatest extent, with the least detection. This
was exactly suited to Charlotte, and she according-
ly took gi-eat delight in it. AMien the game was
concluded, M. Rannolini restored and divided his
winnings among the party, and the twins sang one
or two songs, accompanying themselves on Croi-
ser's guitar. Supper succeeded this part of the
evening's entertainment, and the guests then re-
tired for the night.
Among the many methods to which RannoHni
had recomse for amusement, was that of talking to
the seamen — Tarpaulin in particular, by means
of Croiser's interpretation. In exery thing relating
to the sea or seamen, he seemed to take the great-
est interest. He listened to their stories, entered
into their jokes, and made them sing to him, with
as much avidity as if he had understood their
anguage. It so happened on one forenoon, that
198 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
he and Croiser were walking the quarter-deck,
when they observed two of the sailors come up
from below and go aft to Nine-fathom Tim, who
was busily employed in superintending some work
on the taffrail. Being within earshot, the officers
listened and distinctly overheard this dialogue :
" If you plase, Mr. Tarpauhn," said one of the
seamen, touching his hat, " here's Dick and I
come up to you, to sittle a little bit o' a dispute
" Dispute, is it Bo ? Then what the deuce d'ye
bring it to me for ? I'll have nothing to do with it.
Can't ye clear away for a bend on the lower-deck,
and fight it out in a quiet way as a Jack-Tar
should, without coming up blethering and dis-
puting hke a couple of sea-lawyers ?"
" Oh, Mister Tarpaulin, you've got the bull by
the wrong horn, and begging your pardon, it's only
that Dick and I have been having a little mess o'
chat about the Bible."
" The Bible ?"
" Ay, Sir, and I happening to say something
concaming St. Paul, Dick would have it that he
wasn't an apostle."
" No more he wasn't ! Was he, Mr. Tarpaulin ?"
" 'Vast heaving, Dick, let me have my say out.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 199
Well, Ml'. Tarpaulin, I says, says I, ' Saint Paul
was an apostle, and as you and I, Dick, can't
come to any head on the matter, why we'd best
step up and ask Mr. Tarpaulin,' says I, * for he's
sure to know all about them 'ere sort o' things.' vSo
up we come. Mister Tarpaulin, and now I asks
of you, Mr. Tarpaulin, whether I an't right — that
St. Paul was an apostle ?"
" Paul an apostle — Paul an apostle ! " repeated
Tim, two or three times, shaking his head in the
greatest perplexity, " Um — Let me see — Dang it !
You say he was an apostle, don't ye Bill ?"
" Yes, Sir, I say he was an apostle."
'*' And you Dick, you say he wasn't an apostle r"
" Ay ! just so. Mister Tarpaulin, and blow me
if he was, either !"
" Well, and that's what I think, too, my lads,"
returned the sage umpu'e, puzzled beyond decision.
" St. Paul— St. Paul! Why hang me if 1 recollect
any thing about the lubber."
" Not recollect him, Mr. Tarpauhn?" inqiiired
Bill, in astonishment and dismay. " ^Miy don't
ye call to mind there in the iVcts, there's a chapter
of regular log, and all concaming him ?"
'^' Acts!!' Ugh! Now ye have it," gaily ex-
200 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
claimed Tim, "he might a' been an ac^m^ Apostle,
but dash my wig if he was ever ratedP
Had it not been for the remembrance of the
Port Admiral's sufferings during this period of sus-
pense, the sisters could scarcely have desired a
more pleasant excursion. The cabins of the Pearl
were fitted up with every luxury that the ingenuity
of man had at that time invented for ships — no ex-
pense was spared. It was evident that the owner,
under whose eye it had been furnished, was ac-
quainted with oriental manners, by the profusion
of silk and velvet ottomans which in every direc-
tion wooed the form to repose, as vrell as the
Turkish pipes with their handsome amber mouth-
pieces and gay-coloured cherry sticks, sabres,
yataghans, a marble bath, and many other little
things that bespoke the same delightful region to be
their original clime.
Upon one of the tables stood a scent case, the
cut-glass bottles of which bore the letter N upon
them ; it was also engraved on the golden top which
protected the stopper. Going up to this case one
evening after supper, when all beside himself and
Croiser had retired, M. Rannolini took out one of
the bottles, and after enjoying its exquisite per-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 201
fume for a few moments, he handed it to Croiser,
saying, " WTiat think you of that, Croiser ?
Is it not dehcious? How well I remember
when I first had that scent ! I got it at Milan
after the preliminaries of Leoben were signed.
We were then going to treat at Montebello.
Beautiful spot, Montebello! It was ultimately
signed at Passeriano. I took some of it with me
to Egypt, and brought a httle back with me,
which I gave to a perfumer in Paiis to analyse
and make me a large quantity of the same. This
is part of it. How should it be, Croiser ? I scarcely
can account for it; for me, memoiy scarcely has
any stronger link than that which is instantly
called up by any well-known perfume ? Supposing
I enter a room where there is any particular
scent — if at any former period of my life I have
ever met with it before, the very scene — the
hour — the events passing — the people about
me, all come back. They seem as vivid as
though it spread a magic painting before the
mind. For instance, when I first entered this
cabin, I was thinking of nothing but our voyage,
and the time it would occupy. There had been one
of your Turkish pastiles burning, and there was
202 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
some otto on the table. Instantly I thought of
Cairo ! — There used very frequently to be a similar
odour in one of the rooms at the palace of Elfy
Bey. That Berthier too, the droll ninny ! used to
scent his chamber in that way. I mean the one
devoted to his Madame Visconti. In an instant
every scene in Egypt was before me 1 I fancied
too I heard the chef d'etat murdering his vowels
as he came to tell me in his horrid guttural, pre-
vious to the march of the army against Djezzar,
that he had relinquished his idea of running back
to France. But he was a faithful creature ! " and
here Rannolini took a pinch of snuff and a stride
across the cabin, as if there was much pleasui'e in
the remembrance, as he continued, " and Junot
too : Junot is faithful — he wants prudence. Lannes
also is devoted and brave as a lion. So is Murat,
and Ney, and Marmont — all good and truel"
taking a pinch of snuff between each name.
" But, poor Desaix ! Even Marengo was dearly
gained by his loss. However, to return ; I never
smell that scent without thinking of Milan, and
Leoben, and Laybach, Campo Formio, and Pas-
seriano. Ah ! those were happy days ! I was then
in the first blush of success — but stay, the pear is
A TALE OF THE WAR, 203
not yet ripe, Croiser! IVe been thinking that
there are no successes so dear as our first. We grow
greater, our schemes are more noble — more vast.
But then we lose that spring — that elasticity. In
short, success has become second nature — we ai*e
hackneyed in it. Give it me again, Croiser — sweet
perfume ! Ah Milan ! It was at Milan too that
I saw IMadame Grassini — but that was after Ma-
rengo. Poor Desaix! Was it not odd that
Kleber was assassinated in Eg}^t on the same day
that Desaix fell at Marengo.? Strange! Had
Kleber lived, France had retained Egypt; means
should have been found to reinforce him, and
if Desaix had hved, he would have had the army
of Italy. Perhaps then we might, after the over-
throw of Austria, have passed into Turkey,
erected another empire, have crossed the Bos-
phorus through Asia, and established a line of
communications firom Paiis to Cairo — think of
As Rannohni said this, he paused, and with-
drawing his hands from behind him, took another
pinch of snuff; and while liis dark grey eyes
sparkled at the stupendous conceptions in which
he dehghted to indulge, he stepped aside to an-
<204 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
other table where lay materials for writing. Taking:
a sheet of paper and a pen, he said, " See here,
Croiser. Here we are at Milan," drawing a
map of the campaign from his own head as
readily as if a chart, instead of a blank sheet of
paper, had been before him. " Very good ! we
have Milan ; then for our line of march we take
Laybach, Austria being prostrate. Then we pro-
ceed on to Banjaluka, just within the boundary of
Turkey — ^thence to Nissa, or perhaps Janova —
from that to Adrian ople— and in less than another
week Turkey is ours, with the tricolour waving
over the Seven Towers. Very good ! Turkey is
revolutionized — cross the Strait of Constantinople,
and proceed to Isknikmid — say thence on to
Angora, and from Angora to Aleppo. At Aleppo
we should have time to pause. For see — by that
time Kleber's reinforced army would have re-
erossed the desert once more from El Arish, by
the old route through Gaza and Jaffa, earned
Acre by storm — it would have been accom-
plished the first time, had not success made us
overlook or rather despise our enemy, — and then
Acre being stormed, and Djezzar's treasure seized,
the Druses raised and aimed, we should have
A TALE OF THE WAR. 205
shaken hands at Aleppo ! The choice and flower
of the army would have been picked to remain at
Aleppo ; Kleber would have gone back to resume the
command of whatever division of ti'oops had been
left to occupy Eg>'pt against the English. Mean-
while they should all have set to work to recut
the old canal at the Isthmus of Suez, and render
the Red Sea navigable. A fleet from France
might have manceu^Tcd to gain it, as we did the
Bay of Aboukir, without being surprised by the
British. It should have been fortified impreg-
nably, and by the time that fleet had navigated
the Red Sea, passed the Straits of Babelmandel;
and sailed in the direction of Bombay, the Grand
Indian army would have left Aleppo, passed
through Persia by permission from and treaty with
the Shah, and penetrated Hindostan by Hydrabad,
on the banks of the Indus, just as the French
fleet had arrived off Cape Monze, to flank the
maich of the army by the coast, and aid it
materially in the taking of Bombay. See you!
that once accompUshed, the Indian empire would
belong to France. Her armies would then pos-
sess,'' counting on his fingers, " Austria, Italy,
Turkey, Asia, Egypt, the greater part of Airica,
206 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
and the whole of Hindostan, with the exception
of Persia, in one uninterrupted line of commu-
nication. Moreover, the Dardanelles being ren-
dered impregnable with a line of forts, like those
of Malta and Gibraltar, we should have defied
the English there. Then Constantinople should
have been an important arsenal and dock-yard;
the ships built there would easily have beaten the
Russian navy, and commanded the Black Sea. As
well as being at hand to protect our Ionian
Islands, we should have commanded the mouth
of the Danube ; that too might have been useful."
" But who would have had command of this co-
lossal expedition ? Who would have had the army
" Ah ! that indeed is a consideration ! That is a
reflection that pains me ! The First Consul could
not have trusted himself so far irom France as
India. No, that would most likely have fallen on
Desaix. Desaix had finer notions of true glory —
would have sacrificed more for it than almost any
general in France. Yes, I think he might have
been successful. Our communications once esta-
blished, with Aleppo for our pivot of operation
between Damascus and Constantinople, the most
A TALE OF THE WAR. 207
difficult part would have been accomplished. He
might have fallen back on Aleppo ; I should hare seen
them, at any rate, fairly across the Dardanelles, and
then have returned by the same route to Paris ; where
by that time the conscriptions would have had an
entire new army of the interior. If all was quiet
and nothing menaced the European line of com-
munication, and good news had been received of
Desaix's progress, I might have posted back, so
as to catch him entering Hindostan, in time to
conduct the Indian campaign. The Enghsh once
fairly driven into the sea, I should retrnm to see
what was wanting in Europe."
" What a gigantic campaign that would be ! "
said Croiser with a sigh, as he took up the plan,
which the other had laid down.
" ' Gigantic .? ' Ah ! " resumed Rannolini, as he
took another pinch of snuff, and continued his
walk with his hands behind him. " One — one
such campaign as that, and even Alexander's
would shrink into the distance. A man might be
content to die, as the price of achieving it ! The
general who executed such a campaign — say if
Desaix had signed at Bombay capitulations for
the evacuation of India by the British, — he would
have deserved of France to be viceroy of Hin-
208 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
dostan, and Kleber viceroy of Egypt: or stay,
emperor would be a better title — ^say, tributary
emperors of India and Egypt. These things look
visionary now. Egypt is almost irretrievably gone ;
Kleber too is gone, and poor Desaix is gone ! —
But stay, Croiser, stay ! The pear is not yet ripe.
We know one campaign worth it all. With
Britain unsubdued, that is to say, its present fonn
of government remaining, France may be content
with the sovereignty of Europe, and the plain of
Germany for her cricket-ground; but with Eng-
land, Croiser, I say with England, allied to her
in interest and feeling— they must have the sove-
reignty of the world. Her fleets would stretch
from the gulf of Finland to Bombay, so would the
armies of France. See," sitting himself on the
side-table, while his legs dangled towards the
ground, " the head-quarters of the Grand Rus-
sian Army of France, would be in St. Petersburgh,
and those of the Grand Indian Army at Madras.
We might found two cities; one of Britannia at
Babel-mandel, and another of Napolia at the
Isthmus of Suez. A canal being cut at the latter,
as I said before, the whole wealth of India would
flow through, while the imexplored regions of
A TALE OF THE WAR. 209
Persia and Africa would be opened to our com-
merce and research. With England's fleets pro-
perly managed — for now they don't make half
what they might of them, Uke huge mines of salt-
petre and sulphur in the hands of savages, with
genius unequal to the invention of po^ der or a
gun — 1 say then, with England's fleets, nothing
would be too great for us ! "
" But in that case you would be left, like your
favourite Alexander, sighing that nothing more
remained to be conquered. What could you do ? "
" That would never occupy a moment's thought.
Though the world were subdued to-morrow, it
woidd yet remain to be civilized. Besides, there
would be China. We might give a better govern-
ment to tlie Chinese. To conquer a nation is a
very fine thing; to beautify, to embeUish, to civi-
hze it, is, if any thing, finer. Supposing that
England and France had the dominion of the
world, commerce would be so entirely in their
own hands, that it would more than repay their
expenses. What cities they might build ! What
improvements they might make ! But come, this
is idle. We shall see — we shall see — Time is the
best planner after all. These waking dreams ex-
210 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
cite me — make me feverish. Let us on deck, and
then to bed! — Croiser," he continued, as leaning
on the other's arm he ascended to the deck, " I
have a presentiment that something is going to
" Oh surely your imagination runs away with
you! The topic on which we have been talking
has over-excited you."
" No, no, my presentiments never deceive me —
something is about to happen to us. Moreover,
to-morrow is one of my unlucky days. But we
A TALE OF THE WAR. 211
" Submit tliy fate to Heaven's indulgent care,
Though all seem lost, 'tis impious to despair ;
The tracks of Providence like rivers wind,
And though immerged in earth from human eyes,
Again break forth and more conspicuous rise."
Having inhaled the cool air for a quarter of an
horn*, RannoHni wished Croiser good night, and
gently pinching the ear of the latter, with a good-
natured smile, he descended to his cabin. The
night was lovely, the ethereal space above,
crowded ^vith the jewellery of Heayen, shed a
soft clear light upon the gleaming bosom of the
tranquil waters. The ship gently rose over the
immense masses of the ocean, whose sweU is ever
restless, let the calm be as dead as it will. Her
sails occasionally flapped upon the masts, as
any roU was heayier than the rest, and her taimt
masts with their Hght rigging rose in grace
Sl2 THE POET ADMIRAL,
and symmetry from her decks. As Croiser stood
on the gangway, viewing the scene around, the
head of the foretop-gallant-mast became inter-
posed between his view and the bright orb of a
well-knovra star. He beheld it shedding its mild
glories upon him, and a gush of emotion rose
from his heart like the springing waters of a new
found well. How ofteii had he gazed upon it
when the delicate arm of Margarita was trem-
bling within his own, and her soft eyes were
beaming with a lustre as bright, yet subdued and
heavenly, as that orb of Venus ! That . star ! Was
it not that star which he beheld, when taking a
last look of their beautiful paik, on deciding that
he would see her no more? Was it not that
star which he had beheld when lying on the
taffrail of his vessel after leaving the sisters on
the shore of Barn Pool — leaving them, as he
thought, for ever ? Was it not that star on which
he had almost nightly gazed since his departure,
recalling the suppressed sigh which so often broke
from the bosom of her he loved, as they contem-
plated its beauty together ? It was all this, and
it was dear indeed !
" How strange is life ! Still more strange is
A TALE OF THE WAR. 213
destiny!" thought he. " On how many events of
my Hfe may you yet shine ! In how many situa-
tions to come may I not behold you ? I may look
up in tears — tears of bliss when the throbbing
breast is too full even to breathe its happiness ! —
or it may be in tears of agony and woe, when
the heart is too obdurate to yield rehef by burst-
ing ! To thee may arise the last glance of these
eyes, when their dull orbs are glazing in the throes
of death ! Your beams may glisten in the many-
tinted dew-drops moistening the weeds upon my
grave, or subtly penetrating through the Hquid
crystals of the element beneath me, their green
light may play around this form of clay, or shew
the monsters of the deep where to prey on my
remains, or perhaps, worse than all, they may
yet find me in the possession of successful ambi-
tion, covered with the baubles for which I am
striving, tinsel and gUtter to the eye, eaten and
cankered at the core, Uke like But I will go
to sleep, there at least these pangs cannot assail
me ! Quarter-master ? "
" If any thing should appear in sight, or if a
breeze should spring up, call me immediately ; if
214 THE POET ADMIRAL,
neither of these things should happen, call me at
six. The hour proclaimed it to be midnight, as
Croiser laid his head on his pillow.
At two in the morning a dense fog gradually
closed round them, and this state of things re-
remained until six, when Croiser was called.
Having been on deck about half an hour talk-
ing to Nine-Fathom-Tim, whom he found taking
his third dram and whistling for the wind, the
latter remarked, " Well, your honour, I think
this here diskiness is going to clear off. There
seems to be a capful of air springing up here
away in the norwest, and making a lane of it
" Yes, Tim, the fog seems inclined to clear up,
as you say, and good luck to it ! the sooner the
better." Croiser looked in the direction pointed
out, where the large volumes of the mist rolling
away before the breeze, formed, as it frequently
does, a vista for the eye to penetrate.
"Why— holloa! What is that, Tim? It almost
looks like a sail."
" A sail! Let me look, your honour; ay ! to be
sure it is, not three miles off neither ! "
"Pooh! Tim, it can't be!"
A TALE OF THE WAE. 216
" Well, your honour, if your honour's aunt had
been a gentleman, she'd a been your uncle, and no
mistake about that, and if that there," looking at
the object of dispute through the hollow of his
hand, " isn't a sail, why my mother's a Dutch-
man ; and that's not very likely, seeing she never
went out o' her birtli-place, Portsmouth, 'septing
once, when she got drowned in the harbour, then,
as your honour knows, she went to Davy Jones,
poor old 'oman."
" Well, weU, Tim ! I beheve there's no fear of
your imphcating your mother's birth after aU, for
it is a sail, as you say — the fog's clearing off more
rapidly. By Jove she shows a double tier of
teeth! Come, come, look about; crowd all can-
vass and put her before the wind, or stay — make
no sail tiU I come up again, put her before it,
and trim accordingly." Quickly descending to
the cabin of M. Rannolini, and putting his hand
gently on his shoulder, Croiser shook him, say-
ing, " Now, then, monsieur, will you get up ? "
" Eh! what! — is it you? Ah! Croiser, let me
lie a little longer ! "
" Not this morning, Monsieur. The breeze has
216 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
sprung up and the fog clearing off, shows us an
English line of battle ship almost on board."
" Bah ! — no — is it so ? What did I say to you
last night ? Go on deck, get ready for making all
sail. I will be with you." In an instant M. Ran-
nolini, whom this intelligence had immediately
roused, proceeded to array himself with all the
despatch in his power.
In a few seconds, he was by the side of Croiser
on tlie quarter-deck. Taking the glass, he looked
long and earnestly at the large vessel which lay
almost becalmed astern of them. " We must be
off, and that instantly ! Make all the sail you can,
Croiser ! Perhaps with the light breeze which
is springing up, our little vessel may be able to
distance that floating citadel. Fortune, thou
might'st have granted me somewhat more of thy
favour than this!" he continued, as if addressing
that imaginary deity, while he still gazed on the
man-of-war with a look of considerable apprehen-
sion. " Come, come, Croiser, why do you hesi-
tate ? We have not a moment to lose ! "
" If I might presume to differ from you, I should
recommend to your consideration a different course."
A TALE OF THE WAR. 217
" Speak then quickly ! what is it ? "
" Simply this : it appears to me, and I know it
from experience, that if we, by making sail, mani-
fest a desire to get oflf, it will excite their sus-
picions, whereas, if we coolly wait till they get
near enough to hail us, or perhaps for me to go
on board, my assiu*ance that we ai'e a privateer,
or my displaying that document which I showed
to you, would prevent the shghtest molestation."
" No, no, I can't hear of such a thing ! Don't
advise me to do so, Croiser. Never put yoiu'-
self in the power of an enemy ! I have a pre-
sentiment about Enghsh ships which I cannot get
over. No, let us escape, which I am sure we can."
^' Well, it shall be exactly as you wish, but I
entreat you not to take such an alternative ! I
know what suspicions it will excite, and if by
any chance we should be captured,— if, for in-
stance, a strong breeze should spring up immedi-
ately, and we be chased into Plymouth Sound, —
even my commission, powerfid as it is, may not
altogether protect us from detection. In the other
case, I know so well what are the questions
which will be asked — I have been intercepted
VOL. II. L
218 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
in this way so often, that I am confident, if you
will give the matter up to me, all will be well."
" No, Croiser, I cannot; the thing is impossible!
I never can voluntarily trust myself within the
range of an English man-of-war's guns ! How
can you expect it of me, when you know that
they have boded me nothing but misfortune, and
that I never came in contact with them but it
was always attended with some disaster ? I can-
not, I cannot, it is enough; would that every
one of them were at the bottom of the sea ! "
stamping his foot with impatience.
" Well, General, as I said before, I am ready to
obey your orders, but I am sure we only increase
our danger by flight; whereas, by hoisting an
English flag and lying still, I should merely be
questioned, have to show my papers, and be al<^
lowed to proceed. Do, I beseech you, consider
what is at stake, and fi'ee your mind from the
thraldom of any presentiments that may now be
deceiving you ! "
" There is truth, Croiser, in what you say, to
be sure," and Rannolini took one or two turns on
the " quarter-deck, while a convulsive twitching
A TALE OF THE WAR. 219
was seen on his agitated countenance. It was a
contraction of the mouth, tliat gradually passed
from left to right, accompanied by a momentary
elevation of the shoulder, on the latter side of
his body. " In any other case I might perhaps
act as you advise," passing liis finger along his
high and ample brow, " but an English vessel —
Stay ! Ah ! Croiser ! this is it," and his countenance
instantly hghted up with all the fire of intellect,
as he took Croiser by the ear, " they have shown
no colours, neither will we — we are not forced to
know an Enghsh vessel at sight. Let us there-
fore make all sail: if they overtake us — we im-
agined them to be French."
" Excellent ! M. Rannolini, that will succeed.
I'll crowd all canvass instantly," and Croiser step-
ped forward to give his orders. In the course of a
few minutes the schooner had every stitch of sail
set which the present direction of the wind ren-
The air came gently aft on the starboard quarter,
from the S.B.E., while the hne of battle ship was
two miles and a half astern and somewhat to
" At what rate do we go, Croiser ?"
220 THE POET ADMIRAL,
*' Nearly six miles an hour, sir."
" And how fast do you think those John Bulls
are coming after us ? "
" I can hardly say, from this distance. You
see, only their lofty sails are drawing at this mo-
ment. The feet of their topsails are hanging
almost dead. Ah ! ah ! he sees our increase of
sail ; see ! he is clapping on his top and topgallant
studding sails ; he begins to suspect."
" Yes, I fear me that he does. I begin to think
all is not right — and yet it is a pretty sight, is it
not? — or rather it would be, if we were not so
situated. Oh Fortune ! Fortune ! " and the fo-
reigner's countenance again assumed that expres-
sion of intense interest, while he bent his brows
with anger, as his eagle-eye surveyed the efforts
of |his foe to catch him, though utterly uncon-
scious of the individual contained by the little
vessel which they were now chasing.
" Shall we escape, Croiser ? I begin to fear, I
say, that all is not right. Surely I was not prudent
to set all upon one die. This was adventurous.
Well, no matter, — to dare is often to win. Better
to lose in daring, than to lose for want of it. Tell
me, Croiser, shall we escape ? "
A TALE OF THE WAK. 221
" I have my fears, I must confess. You yee
that line darkening the horizon astern of the
seventy -four r"
" I see it."
" Watch it, you will observ^e it approaching,
that is the breeze freshening up, and look ! already
her topmast studding-sails begin to diaw, and so
do the heads of her courses."
" Hah ! here we have it ! " suddenly exclaimed
Rannolini, tapping Croiser on the shoulder, as a
vivid flash shot forth from her armed side, fol-
lowed by a long volume of eddying smoke, that
swiftly unrolled itself on the fog of the morning.
The shot thus propelled was seen booming over
the ghstening sinrface with vast velocity, in a di-
rect line with their stem.
" Croiser, take care of yourself, that wiU strike,"
said Rannolini, folding his arms on his breast. In
an instant his face resumed its accustomed air
of thought and composure, as if danger was but
his natural element. Having bounded along the
water, splashing up the foam at several intervals,
its last leap finally pitched it beneath their lee-
quarter, sending a cloud of spray in tlie faces
of those who stood at hand.
222 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Twenty-four pounds of good old iron wasted ! "
said a gruff voice close at hand. Rannolini turn-
ed round, and beheld Tarpaulin employing his
rough hand to wipe off the moisture from his
weather-beaten countenance, which nevertheless
wore its usual grin.
^' Look at that droll ! he reminds me of a bear
washing his face with his paw!" remarked Ran-
noHni, smiling at the rude tar ; then addressing
him, " I suppose you're used to these gentry ?"
" ' Used to 'em ?' " replied Tim, after Croiser had
interpreted the words, " Aye, tell his honour, as a
hen is to eggs ; though to be sure I'd a' rather
see the dumb creeturs' shot sarved out before
" That shot," remarking on one that had just
struck their taffrail, "was well aimed, Croiser.
Two or three of those in your hull and we should
" Go to the bottom ! " added Croiser calmly,
whistling for the wind.
" Bah ! " returned the other, beginning to w^alk
the deck again, while his former air of perplexity
" There go up the seventy-four's colours, M.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 223
Rannolini ! We must hoist ours. Let me im-
plore you to consider this matter again ! As a
sailor, I assure you escape is out of the question.
We shall only incur tenfold suspicions by attempting
it; besides, I strongly suspect that our enemy is
the , one of the fastest sailing ships in the
British navy. She was taken from the French at
the battle of ."
"'Taken at the battle of ,'" slowly re-
peated Rannolini, while a more than wonted pale-
ness overspread his countenance — " No, no," after
a pause, " hoist no colours, and trust no enemy !
Let us proceed while we can."
" Stand fr'om under your honour ! " roared out
Tarpauhn, springing to the side of Rannohni, and
averting from his head the fall of a heavy block
as it came to the deck, followed by the main-top-
mast, with a most tremendous crash.
Startled at the sudden ruin spread around him,
Rannolini jumped back. Scarcely could he credit
his senses, when he saw that spreading pile of sail
and cordage which so lately reared itself aloft, and
drew the vessel on her course, now strewed before
him ; part towing overboard, and the rest cumber-
ing the deck, which presented one scene of con-
fusion. Casting his eyes upward in bewilderment,
to discover the cause, he beheld the fore -topmast
gently oscillate once or twice, and topphng over to
leeward, fall under the larboard bow.
Striking his hand on his thigh, as if doubting
whether he was awake, his ear was saluted by the
loud and approaching peal, which at once pro-
claimed the cause of the wreck before him. A
shot fired from the upper-deck of the seventy-four,
had descended upon the Pearl, and after passing
through and carrying away the maintop -mast, had
so wounded the fore spar, that, unable to bear its
canvass without the usual stays, it had fallen
RannoUni turned to Croiser ; his features were
unruffled, but in his eye there was an agonized
look of disappointment that can neither be ima-
gined nor described.
The EngUsh ship still continued to fire, and a
shot striking on the taffrail, a splinter wounded
Rannolini in the hand.
" I beseech you let me hoist our colours ! " said
Croiser, and alarmed at the sight of his friend's
blood, he ran over to him holding in his hands
the haUiards to which he had bent the ensign.
A TALE OP THE WAR. 225
" Heayen grant that you are not hiut ! Consider,
if your life should be lost !"
" That at least is better, Croiser, than being
taken. Tout est perdu, f or s la gloire ! "
" Nay ! do for this once listen to me. I assure
you our chance of detection is only doubled by
this delay, but — " a splinter from a second shot
now struck Croiser on the forehead, and he reeled.
Rannolini affectionately springing up to his side,
supported him in his arms, while Tim seized the
ensign-haUiards, and looked to the foreigner for in-
structions. " My poor Croiser ! " said the latter,
stanching with his hand the ensanguined wound.
" Fate is imperious — I have no alternative — up
with the ensign!" and Tarpaulin comprehending
Rannolini's gesture, gave the white ensign of Saint
George to the wind. No sooner was its distinct
character obsen-ed, than the firing fi'om the seventy
Croiser's wound was but superficial, and reco-
vering fi-om the stunning sensation, he allowed
Rannolini to bind it up, and proceeded with his
duty, though the ruddy stream soon penetrated
the fine cambric that sen-ed but poorly as a band-
age. By this tune, the whole party firom below
226 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
had arrived on deck. The first object that met
Margarita's eye, was Croiser without his cap, and
his face and forehead in the state 1 have described.
A scene of much confusion ensued, and having at
length persuaded Lady Sapphira and her nieces
to return below, under the assurance that the dan-
ger was past. Tarpaulin was left to clear away the
wreck, while Croiser descended to prepare for
going on board the seventy-four, which he rightly
conjectured he should have to do.
Rannolini remained on deck, seemingly absorbed
in his own mournful reflections, and scarcely as
yet recovered from the effects of his surprise at
the quick destruction which the enemy's fire had
occasioned. Though accustomed to the sea, he
had never before had an opportunity of witnessing
a sea-fight. He had stood on many a bloody field
and seen human beings mowed down by thousands,
but there the havoc is more gradual. This morn-
ing, but a few minutes had elajDsed since he beheld
his vessel in all the pride of fight— and in the like
space of time she was a captive to the enemy not
yet at hand; like the fluttering bird which the
reptile fascinates before he can reach ! It is true
these things were in part owing to accident, and
A TALE OF THE WAR. 227
the superior skill of their present enemy in gun-
nery, at that time rather unusual in the sea-
service ; but these reflections were lost in the re-
membrance of what he had always heard of the
British navy, and tlie cori'oboration now afforded
by this his first personal experience of it. Fixing his
eyes on the fast advancing ship with a look of rage
that was too deep for expression, he regarded her
as we do those hideous monsters of the night,
whose approach almost paralyzes our faculties,
and excludes every hope of escape.
Rapidly she came up with the chase, and her
gleaming side was brightly reflected in the tiny
waves, as she shot up on their weather quarter.
She was now so close that the order could be
heard to " square away the main yard," when her
progress gradually lessened as she became nearly
stationary on their bow. By this time Croiser
had swathed his temples with a more fitting fillet,
and having procured his papers, appeared dressed
in the same costume as when he first appeared to
" Hah ! you have that still ! " said RannoHui,
turning and pointing with much pleasure to the
splendid sabre at his fiiend's side.
228 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Can you behold me aJive, and yet doubt that
I should still possess what I esteem the dearest gift
that I ever received ? "
" Come ! thou hast taken great care of it. Those
were more pleasant hours when I first had it. I never
contemplated seeing it in such a rencontre as this."
" Here's a boat, your honour, from that old
grampus," said Tarpaulin, addressing Croiser,
who hastened to the gangway to receive it. In a
few minutes the seventy-four's barge was along-
side, containing a lieutenant. Croiser now rejoined
Rannolini, who stood with his arms folded on his
breast, before the after hatchway. His friend hav-
ing whispered one or two words in his ear, he
said, " True ! " arid changed his attitude, clasping
his hands behind him.
" Where's the captain of this craft ? where's the
captain ? " roared the lieutenant in a coarse voice,
as he hurried up the side, and jumping on deck,
looked round for the individual he sought. No
answer was returned. " I say where's the captain,
you long lubberly swab } " repeated the naval officer,
in an imperious tone to Tarpaulin, against whom
he raised his foot with the kind intention of be-
stowing a kick.
A TALE OF THE WAR, 229
" Come — paws off," said the tar quickly, in a
tone of anger, raising his enormous fist; " if I
get a hold on the scruff o' your neck, I warrant
you go down in thirty fathom ! "
" Silence, Tarpauhn!" said Croiser.
The lieutenant turned at the sound, and paused.
He was about to address Rannolini, but there
was something in the stem searching glance of his
eye, that at once put his noisy effrontery^ to flight.
Croiser was younger, and though the contempt
so visible in his countenance was not very inviting,
he addressed him.
" I am sent to the captain of this craft. Where
" I command this vessel, Sir. AMiat have you
This cold politeness seemed very much to dis-
comfit the lieutenant, who in boarding strangers
had been accustomed to treat their commanders as
one degree below their own men. However,
making a strong effort to recover his assurance,
he said, " My orders are to take on board H. M. S.
every male who does not form part of the
" Have vou a written order ?"
" No ! " and the lieutenant seemed much sur-
prised at the question.
" Then you are aware I might refuse to go. I
however respect the flag of my country, and shall
not therefore offer any frivolous opposition; al-
though I cannot say that my masts deserved such
treatment fi-om English shot!" pointing to the
wreck of his topmasts.
Croiser having mustered all the males of his
party, went down to assure the ladies of his
speedy return. Then taking Rannolini aside,
he begged him to leave every thing to his care,
and that their detention would be very short.
Despite of this assurance, there was an expression
of anxiety on his face, that bespoke the foreigner
to be ill at ease, as he descended over the side
and took his seat in the seventy -foiu-'s boat.
But a short time sufficed to bring them along-
side. As they approached her gigantic hull,
Rannolini's eye ran over her bristling sides with
the most marked attention. The order and neat-
ness so evident in every part, seemed at once
to excite his admiration and his anger. This
close examination was redoubled on his reaching
A TALE OF THE WAR. 231
her gang^vay, proceeding up the side, where two
bai'e-headed Httle negroes, held out the ropes
for his support. At length he stood upon the
quarter-deck, where he found a whole bevy of
young officers composing the morning-watch.
" Who are these ? Surely not officers ? " he
demanded of Croiser.
"Yes. These are the officers of the watch, and
this one advancing is the first heutenant."
" Bah ! and is this the uniform of the British
navy? — of England, whose gold sways two-thirds
of Europe ? "
" No ! Tliese are merely their undresses ; they
are not particular at sea ; besides, at theu* gayest
moments they do not imderstand dress."
'*' Nay, thou need'st not so gravely tell me that !
Croiser, it would be worth something to us, to
get half a dozen of these creatures to exhibit at
a review on the banks of the Seine. Why it
would affi)rd gossip to the Parisians for a week at
least ! They take more care of their ships at any rate
than their persons," obser^'ed Rannohni, admiring
the high order in which every thing appeared.
" This is the captain, Monsieur."
232 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Here, walking out from the after-cabin in a
short and rough blue coat."
By this time the whole of our party had been
ranged in a line along the quarter-deck, Croiser
and M. Rannolini being the last, that is to say,
the nearest to the bow. No sooner did the cap-
tain appear, than the whole attention of RannoHni
was fixed upon him, as if to read in his coun-
tenance the fate that awaited him. The seamen,
attracted by the sight of the strangers, came aft to
the break of the quarter-deck to have a peep at
them; when one of the sailors remarked to his
comrades, " I say, Jack ! Look at that fellow there
with his arms crossed a-kimbo with a long brown
Goat on, and a tail-on-end hat."
''Well, what of he?"
" Why, he'd do for Bonaparty."
In an instant Rannolini turned round with
evident alarm in his looks, at that name so
bruited in men's minds; Croiser did the same,
saying in an under tone, " Change your po-
sition ! "
This advice was instantly followed, and their
attention was at the moment attracted by the
captain, who addressing the first of their file as
A TALE OF THE WAR. 233
himself and first lieutenant walked along, ques-
tioned them as though they had been his crew
drawn up at divisions.
" Who are you ? "
" I, sir, am Captain Bombast of the Royal
Navy," replied the marvellous traveller, who
stood first, and was not particularly pleased at
the unceremonious address.
"Oh! Captain Bombast! I don't exactly re-
collect the name. YouVe not served very lately
I apprehend, sir?"
" I beg your paidon, Sir, I had the honour
of commanding the Bouncer, ten-gun brig, in the
year 17 — , and that's only twenty years ago the
day after to-morrow. I flatter myself — surely-—
that — it cannot be altogether unknown to you.
My travels — I had the honour of publishing my
travels. Surely you must be acquainted with my
travels ! "
^ Can't say I am."
" What ! not know Captain Bombast's travels
and voyages in the Longbow Islands and else-
where ? " interrupted Puff*.
" Most astonishing," resumed Bombast, " when
234 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
they were so ably reviewed in the United Anchor
and Blunderbuss Journal."
" Yes," again commenced PufF, " a very splen-
did review, I do assure you, sir ; for the captain
was kind enough to write it all himself."
" Hush, hush, PufF," quickly whispered Bom-
bast in an under tone. " So you actually don't
know my name, sir ? Well, that's very astound-
ing, as my dear Lady Sapphira would say. Yes,
sir, I'm the author of the Travels to the Longbow
" Oh, ehem ! ' Longbow Islands.' I take it
they must be in the Irish Channel or the North
" What, not know the longitude and latitude of
the Longbow? I am astounded. Why, Sir,
they're in ."
" Well well, another time. Who may you be .^"
passing on to the next.
" Why, sir, like my most intimate and talented
friend. Captain Bombast, I do feel somewhat
surprised that such a question should have been
necessary. I, sir, am Major Puff, of the United
Anchor and Blunderbuss Journal."
A TALE OF THE WAR. 235
" Yes, sir, yes, allow me to introduce you to
my most particular fiiend, Major Puff," inter-
rupted Bombast, " in the luxuriance of whose
pages you must have so frequently revelled, or
would have, if you had met with them, since his
productions only required to be read and admired,
to insure him a vast renown ! "
" Nay, captain, nay, sir, I really must blush, though
to be sure it is highly gratifying to hear these kind
things from one so eminently fitted by his im-
partial judgment and varied attainments."
"Ay, ay! "\Mio the deuce have we here? —
that'U do," muttered the captain passing on. " Bad
enough to meet these feUows on paper, much less
" And who are you, sir ? "
" My title, sir, is the Reverend Nathaniel Sahs-
bury. I am rector of Donomore, in the see of
Durham, presented to me by his Grace the Duke
of Daredevil, whose scarf I also wear as private
chaplain. They call me Master of Arts at Brase-
nose, and I draw my pay every quarter as chaplain
of the dock-yard at Plymouth Dock. I came out
on a party of pleasure, was becalmed and stan-ed,
2S6 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
then kindly picked up and restored, and conse-
quently not at all inclined to be imprisoned."
" Imprison you ! What the deuce should I do
with such a set of long-tongued fellows ? Well,
and who are you ?" addressing Tarpaulin, who had
been brought on board as Croiser's mate.
He replied, gruffly, " My name's Timothy Tar-
pauhn, called Nine-fathom Tim for shortness. I'll
tell your honour the first and last of it."
" 'Vast heaving, you may keep the first to your-
self, and let me have the last as soon as possible.
Do you belong to that craft ?"
" I'm her first mate."
" Oh, and who are you, sir ?" addressing
" Enough, sir ! enough of this," interrupted
Croiser, stepping forward. " These gentlemen are
my passengers. I have the honour of commanding
the Pearl schooner, and demand the instanta-
neous release of myself and companions in this
name " —
" Then I'll be if you shall have it. Who
axe you, I should like to know ?"
" Read this, it will inform you, and make no
rash assertion which you may not dare to keep ! "
A TALE OF THE WAR. 237
Rage and wonder struggled in the captain's
mind at these words ; he hesitated whether he
should deign to look at the slip of paper which
Croiser had taken from his note-case, but the bold
tone assumed by the latter, his evident rank as a
gentleman, and the bearing so unusual in a mere
privateer's captain induced him to peruse it.
The contents appeared brief indeed, for no
sooner had his eye nm over its few lines, than his
manner instantaneously changing, betrayed the di-
lemma in which he felt himself placed, as he stam-
mered forth: "This mistake, sir, is — not — my
fault, you should have shown me this before."
" Well, well, sir, we will waive the discussion
of that point, at present. You will put us on
board again immediately, and send your carpenter's
crew with spars to help us in repairing the damage
you have occasioned."
" Ehem ! ^Miy, sir, as to that — our car-
penter's crew is but a small one at present, we
have a good deal to do on board — I hardly know
" I presume you have read the whole of the
paper now in your hand."
238 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" But can't you do without oiu: men ?"
" Not without hindrance to the service on which
I am engaged."
" Well, then, if that's the case, you must have
them. Mr. Squeegee !" turning to the astonished
first lieutenant, " send these gentlemen on board
their schooner again immediately ; and put the
carpenters of the watch into the first cutter and
let them see what spars are wanting on board
that craft !" Then bowing stiffly to Croiser, he
handed back the magic slip of paper, and turned
towards his cabin.
A look of extreme joy had lighted up the fea-
tures of Rannolini, at this sudden deliverance.
Using all the haste which he could, without betray-
ing his apprehension, he descended once more into
the boat alongside, where the others having re-
sumed their seats, they were immediately rowed
back to their own vessel.
*' Croiser," said he, on receiving a translation of
all that had passed, " what made you ask for those
confounded fellows to come on board again } Why,
in the name of Fortune, did you not let them go
their own way and rid us of their company at once }
A TALE OF THE WAR. 239
Suppose they should take it into their heads to
suspect, they may yet detain us ; whereas had you
allowed them to sail away "
" And what should we have done with our
wounded masts ? Remember how much addi-
tional time we shoidd have lost — you already com-
plain on that score. Again, had they subse-
quently suspected us, how easy it woidd have
been to come back and catch us in om* present
disabled state ! Besides, my demanding their aid
inspires confidence, they know tliat document is
not forged, and they dare not dispute it. ^Mlat
should make them suspect r No, depend on it,
sir, that the best plan has been adoj)ted, that of
braving detection for a space, until they have en-
abled us to refit, which will be accomplished by
this evening, and then we can soon leave these
gentry behind, when we have not to contend with
" Well — well, we shall see ! Apparently we have
escaped ! I think not finally. I have a presenti-
ment on my mind."
" What! the old story?"
" Nay, Croiser, they never deceive me ! " A
pause ensued, Rannolini appeared somewhat de-
240 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
jected. " Tell me, Croiser, can you rely on this
Sir Richard— Sal— Salos ?"
" Sahsbury? yes, you need fear no detection
" Well, so much the better. It is odd that we
should have been instrumental in saving his
daughters — clever girls they are too ! That was
a good stroke of fortune. It was your knowledge
and report of him, that determined me to come
to this port ; otherwise it is too far from London.
He cannot suspect those who restore to him his
children. But we shall see ! I like not this fore-
boding. However, to dare well is often to do
well. My detection would compromise more
than ourselves, it might by some possibility com-
promise even ! You say he made it an indis-
pensable requisition, that no one should share
" He insisted on that beyond all things. I was
to receive your solemn vow and promise in writing,
that you should not mention or communicate it
to a soul, either now or at any future period of
your life, or bring over any one but myself."
" Well, he was right — that at least was indis-
pensable — it shall be strictly observed. It is a
A TALE OF THE WAR. 241
point of honour ! I shall retire to my cabin and
lie do^vn, while these Enghsh are on board. I
leave the disposal of them to you."
" You may depend upon me; I will call you
when they are gone."
Croiser, having allotted to each man his sepa-
rate duty, superintended the whole himself, and
by unremitting exertions, succeeded in repairing
his damages by four o'clock in the afternoon, when
he sent back the man-of-war's carpenters, with his
compliments. The seventy -four had no sooner
received them, than she made all sail down Chan-
nel; seemingly very glad at getting rid of the
Pearl, who now held her course straight for Ply-
mouth, with a fair wind. Rannolmi being in-
formed of this, immediately arose and came on
the quarter-deck. Never had he felt more exqui-
site pleasure than now, when his eyes feasted on
the retreating sails of tliat tall ship, which, with
every speed, was flying away ii'om such a prize !
His hour was not yet come.
VOL. II. M
242 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
*' In dark relief, along th' horizon's verge,
The coming tempest lifts the whelming surge ;
The lone sea-gull foreboding, wheels on high,
And mourns the mariner about to die."
The wind rapidly increased, and in an hour
the seventy -four was out of sight.
" Now, Croiser," said Rannohni, " I am happy ;
it seems my presentiment has indeed deceived me
— and yet it was hardly one of confirmed ill, it
was, if I may say so, more one of threatened dan-
ger. Let us repair to the dinner-table."
In accordance with this wish, they descended to
the cabin. Dinner was served, and they were all
busily employed in discussing the past and pre-
sent, when Tarpaulin entered, " Your honour, it's
A TALE OF THE WAR. 243
come on to blow stiffish or so. It makes our
young spars aloft there, crack again ! Shall we
" How many knots by the log-line, Tim.?"
" Eleven, or nigh on twelve, your Honour."
" That's good ! Then you may take in the top-
gallant-sails, and if the wind increases before I
come on deck, you may have a reef in the top-
Half an hour elapsed. Dessert was putting on
the table, when they heard the pipe, " all hands
reef topsails." They could also distinguish the
sounds that indicated increase of wind.
" Come, Croiser," said RannoHni as usual, " let
us take a walk and see what that Atlas of yours is
" Very well. Monsieur, I am ready," returned
the young captain. Having arrived on deck, they
found the weather more boisterous than they
could have anticipated. The wind, as the reader
akeady knows, was from the s.b.e. Along that
quarter of the heavens were piled large masses of
dun grey clouds, which the rising wind whirled
with great rapidity overhead, and fast as they sub-
sided in the north, fresh volumes seemed to rise
244 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
from their exhaustless source. A dull fiery glow
was visible in the west, and indicated where the
sun was declining with his hidden glories. A
faint reflection of this light lingered on the broken
crests of the waves around, now beginning to
feel the influence of their sister element, whose
hoarse whistling through the shrouds added to the
sombre effects which the scene produced on the
" Come, Croiser, we have a fine breeze of it.
Do let us make the most we can of Fortune's gifts
— don't let that Goliath of yours take in too much
sail ! With this good wind, we shall be in Ply-
mouth to-morrow. Eh ! what think you of it ? " But
Croiser was silent, a mode generally adopted by
M. Rannohni's friends of conveying their dissent.
Having taken the direction of the wind exactly
by the compass, Croiser mounted one of the brass
guns with which the Pearl was aimed. Carefully,
and at some length, he scrutinized every appear-
ance of the weather, nor could he have drawn the
same deductions as his friend, since his looks ex-
pressed doubt, and some little apprehension as to
the approaching night. Then turning his atten-
tion to the seamen on the yards who were reefing
A TALE OF THE WAR. 245
the topsails, " Haul your earings well out, Boys,
and see they're properly secured," then in an under
voice, " I've a fancy they'll be tried to night ! "
Once more he resumed his examination of the
horizon to windwaid. As he looked on a prospect
he had so often contemplated before, a thousand
associations of the past seemed to spring up
within his mind. One scene in particular presented
itself to him, as he muttered, " How well I remem-
ber it! Twas just such a night as this! An
awful night it was, but a prelude to one worse ! "
"Ay, your honour, ay!" rejoined the gruff
voice of Tim, Avho standing close at hand had heai'd
his master's words. " I was just a thinking o' the
same thing, and that's comical enough like. Twas
an awful night, as you say. I'd rather not see
such another, much more the one that followed."
" Hah ! - you there, you old vagabond ? Well,
hold your tongue. Fore and main top there!
Take in another reef — and stand by to send top-
gallant yards down. See that you're all ready to
Croiser, having seen ever}- thing made pretty
*' snug," joined Rannohni, who appeared to take a
246 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
great delight in beholding his young friend carry
on the duty, which he did with skill ; omitting all
useless noise, but evincing the natural firmness
and resolution of his character.
" Come, my young Lord Admiral, if thou hast
finished with thy ship, let us go down to the ladies,
and enjoy a little vingt-et-un to-night, since we
played an unwilling game of hazard this morning.
Methinks, Croiser, thou art rather fond of Made-
moiselle Margarita — she does not seem to frown
on the suit of my young captain, either. Take
care, my friend, of the passion ! Glory first, and
love after ; the last is but by -play."
" Come, come, I shall desire you to look at
home. What think you the adorable Josephine
would say, if she saw you cheating us all round
with your roguish black -eyed partner night after
" Ah — good Josephine ! — she knows the world
— she never distresses herself at these trifles !
Besides, thou canst not carry out the comparison.
I have plucked m?/ bays, so now I may lay some pre-
tensions to the myrtle wreath — but thou hast"
" Nay, never pursue such a comparison, as one
between us in pity to me — so let us descend."
A TALE OF THE WAR. 247
At eight o'clock Tarpaulin made his appear-
ance to announce the rate at which the schooner
was going — " twelve miles an hour."
" How's the weather now, Tarpaulin .? "
" Umph ! your honour, it's but husky stuff of
it. Wind rises, and the glass falls. I reckon we
shall hare enough of it before we pipe to break-
fast again ! "
" Does it look like rain coming on : "
" Aj, your Honour, for all the world."
" And more wind t "
" Just so, your Honour ! "
" Then close -reef the topsails and get a double
reef in your fore and main-sails. Are we getting
much of a sea on ? "
" Yes, your Honour, it's coming down pretty
strong from the sou'-east."
" Then strike the top -gallant masts ; see the
storm stay-sails all ready, and do whatever else
you may see is wanting."
" Ay, ay, yom* Honour, I was just a thinking
there's o?ie thing "^
" What ? I suppose the look-outs ! — but haven't
they been placed already .? "
" Placed .? — ay, they're as firm as a chmxli ! No,
I was just a-going to say, your Honour, as it looks
248 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
as if we were a-going to have a little bit of squalli-
fication, and may come to turn the hands up in
the night, 'twould be as well if we splice the main-
brace ! " *
" At your old tricks, Master Tarpauhn. Well,
be off with you, and see that you don't let them
get too much."
" * Too much,' your honour ? Umph ! your ho-
nour's talking high Dutch," replied Tim, most dis-
dainfully, as if such a thing was one of the im-
possibilities of nature.
" Wait an instant. Tarpaulin, Is there any
" Is it that you ask, sir ? Fog, yom* honour ?
You might chop it with a knife ! "
" I don't at all doubt it," interrupted Bombast,
neglecting his game. " Indeed, to say the truth, I
brought home a piece in a white glass bottle from
the Longbow Islands— you remember it, Puff?"
" Most minutely, my dear Sir ! You showed it to
me, you know, on your return, when we met abroad
at — Cork — and I, as you know. Captain, I insisted
that a description of it should be immediately in-
serted in the Blunderbuss Journal."
* A mysterious expression, known only in the free-mas(mry
of the ocean, signifying an extra allowance of grog.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 249
" But bless my ideality ! Was it actual fog, Cap-
" Actual fog, my Lady Sapphira."
" In — deed ! ne — ver knew it !"
" No, so I should think ! How should you r "
" Stuff, brother, it isn't that ! I don't in the
least doubt that it was some condensed vapour —
strangely calossified ; but what said the learned
world to it, captain ? — that's my test ! "
" Oh, my Lady, 'twas very much sought after —
'twas very popular — Yes, that it was ! We never
had an ailicle that was better read — for think, my
Lady! that alone sold six nmnbers ! ! — No joke,
you know, of our journal!"
" Hear that varment ! " muttered Tai*paulin.
" Shake me, if it doesn't \)\xt my pipe out : a plain
fibber hke me stands no chance alongside him !
My nine-fathom story's nothing at all alongside
o' his bottled fog ! — Well, your honour, have ye
any more orders ? '*
" No, Tai-paulin, only keep a sharp look out,
and see that yom* men go to bed sober."
" Ay, ay, sir," and Tim tmned quickly away,
adding to himself, " that's one of the worst orders
250 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
I ever heard given. What's a fellow fit for w^ho's
dead sober ? "
Anotherhalf hour elapsed — the bustle of shorten-
ing sail was beginning to subside on deck, and
Tarpaulin, in the height of his glory, was busily
employed in distributing to each man his pro-
portion of the rum and water just mixed — when
suddenly a crash of spars was heard above, ac-
companied by a cry from the helmsman on deck,
and instantaneously followed by a shock that pro-
strated every individual on the deck. In the state-
cabin all was confusion — every chair round the
card-table was overthrown and their occupants
were struggling on the ground — the counters- —
the cards — the money — appeared beat up towards
the ceiling— the candles were rolling on the deck
extinguished. Fortunately the lamp was sus-
pended from above, and that, though violently jerk-
ed, yet afforded them its light. Rannolini and
Croiser were the first to spring upon their feet.
" We have stranded!" exclaimed the former.
" We've struck ! " said the latter at the same
moment. Not an instant was to be lost. Croiser's
first act was to spring to the bulk-head, where
hung his sabre and his pistols; to sling the first
A TALE OF THE WAR. 251
round his waist, and gird on the belt of the latter,
was the work of a few seconds. Then flying to
a cabinet immediately at hand, he snatched from
a secret drawer a square little leathern case, to
which was attached a strap. Having flung this
securely over his shoulders, and placed his cap on
his head, he then paused one second. The confu-
sion on the deck above was stunning, and the cry
" WeVe struck ! " was echoed and re-echoed with
a thousand difierent accompaniments of oaths and
howlings, while the trembhng motion of the
planks beneath, gave liim a hint not to be mis-
understood. TuiTiing to Rannolini, who was
also snatching his arms from the side, he cried,
" Not a moment's to be lost — the ladies are our
first care ! " and gently seizing Margarita in liis
arms, he dashed on deck, followed by the foreigner
with Charlotte. Every thing around appeared a
wreck ; the sails were shivered into ribands,
flapping and streaming in the gale, with the utmost
noise and fury; the helm was deserted; the sea was
dashing over the schooner's weather quarter; part of
the crew were scrambling on the deck with such
haste, that those below were only impeding one
252 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
another in their progress; oaths and execrations
were breaking from the eager and terrified men
beneath, while such as had gained the deck
were all hustled together on the bow, in an equal
state of confusion.
A speaking trumpet was always kept under
the drum-head of the capstan. Croiser snatching
up this in one hand, while he drew his sword
with the other, begged Margarita on no account
to relinquish her hold on his sword-belt, then
rushing in among his men as near as he could
without endangering her, he endeavoured to re-
store that order which had been so unfortunately
"Every man of you to his duty! Pipe to
quarters. Back — back here, every one of you to
your guns. Where's Tarpaulin? — Tarpaulin!"
" Sir, here I am," Tim shouted back from the
forecastle, where his huge bulk towered above the
rest. " Make a line here, you lubbers, and fall in
at quarters. Come, move — don't ye hear the
" Stand to your guns — once more, I say. The
first man that hesitates, 1 cut him down. Captains
A TALE OF THE WAR. 253
of guns fore and aft — muster your crews ! Don't
you hear the orders, you lazy hound ? Why don't
you move ? " seizing hold of the first man at hand.
" Oh sir, I'm the caq^enter ! "
"Then aft to the well this instant: sound and
see how much water there is — tell nobody.
Bring the rod with you, and report to me on the
forecastle. Fly I "
By this time Tarpaulin had seconded Croiser's
efforts, and something like order was restored;
tlie greater part of the crew being at their guns in
the same stations as those in which tliey go into
action: a few were gathered round Croiser and
Taq^aulin, who stood on the forecastle, where
also were the party from below.
"Where's the shore?" demanded Rannolini.
" "\Miat is it we have struck, Tarpaulin r "
inquired his commander with the first collected
" Hang me, yom* honom', if 1 know. I was
below tending the tub at the time — some say it's
a tarnation thief of a merchantman."
" Yes, your honour," added another seaman
at hand, " it's a lumping trader, sure enough — I
saw her go down to leeward here."
" 'Go down'? that's not very likely, if she's so
much larger than ourselves ! "
" 'Go down'?" said a third, " no, your honour,
no, she didn't go down — she merely drifted off to
leeward there somewhere; — you'll be seeing her
" There!'''' they all exclaimed, as a flash of
lightning darting from the shrouded heavens ap-
peared to play round the wreck of some large
vessel to leeward.
"" I've a sounded the well. Cap tain. Croiser, sir
— and there's nearly five feet in her! — the waters
a' flooded the lower deck already, we're sinking
like a pig o'lead ! " said the dismayed carpenter,
who had run to bring this disastrous intelligence.
" Hush, sir! — not a word — stand by me — ^ don't
attempt to move a peg, or yield up the sounding-
rod — lest I blow your brains out! — Tarpaulin,
my lad, quick, jump aft, clap the crews of the
four after guns to the pumps, and see that they
work body and soul at them. Then take the tiller
in your hand and steer as I give the conn — First,
up with it hard a weather!"
" Ay, ay, your Honour ! " growled Tim, spring-
ing aft to execute his orders like a tiger on his prey.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 255
" Get ready, my boys, to fling a hawser on
board as we bear down on that vessel to leeward,"
said Croiser to those around, his voice as calm
as though no danger were at hand, while the
increased sternness of its tone permitted none to
hesitate in obedience. " Keep a sharp look-out
for the next flash, to see where she is."
" You're not a going to board her, sir ? " de-
manded one of the seamen in a tone of consider-
" Yes, to be sure I am 1 "
" Why, sir, she's a clean wreck ! "
" Pooh ! she's merely lost her topmasts."
" Well, sir, if I may make so bold, I don't tliink
she's a fit"
" Silence, sir — if you can obey my orders, it's as
much as you can do. So — there she is! Now
we begin to pay ofi". Steady, — so — Tarpaulin,
hard a weather yet. Now where is she .' "
" Here, sh, very nigh, close aboard of us, on the
" Ay, ay ! Right your helm aft there. So —
starboard, steady as you go. Sliip — ^ahoy!"
shouted Croiser thi'ough his Uiimpet, at the full
266 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
pitch of his powerful voice, while the clear dis-
tinct tones were hurled along by the tempest.
" Heighten your l^ey," said Rannolini, " it min-
gles too much with the wind."
" Sljip — ahoy ! " repeated Croiser in a shriller
voice. All was silent on board her. A vivid
flash of lightning broke from above, and revealed
distinctly to their view a la;'ge black hull. She
was low in the Avater, her mizen w^as gone, her
maintopmast carried away in the centre, with the
same spar at the fore entirely gone, the yards that
still hung to the masts seemed on the point of
falling, while her jib-boom, also carried away, was
towing by its cordage alongside; streamers com-
posed of her tattered ringing, and the strips of
canvass yet adhering to the yards, were seen in
every direction waving wildly in the gale. Not
the slightest appearance of a human form was to be
seen — with every fleeting moment she appeared
to be gradually drawing closer to them.
x'Vgain Croiser hailed, exerting his utmost ener-
gies to be heard —" Ship — ahoy ! In the name of the
king— answer; — or we'll^r^ into you?" then to his
own nien,'^Castloosethisbow-gun. Here, carpen-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 267
ter, fly to the lower deck — see if the water gains on
us ; don't be flurried, but maik it accui'ately, and
come straight to me — begone! Have any of you
heard her answer ? " adchessing tlie men around.
" No, sir, there's httle fear of that !" gravely re-
pHed the captain of the gun, shaking his head,
while the sight of the approaching wTeck had
bleached his features more effectually than all the
" Quick, now, none of yom- galley nonsense !
Ai'e you ready ? Fire into her then, or rather let
it be over her, or in her upper works."
" Bad luck to the hoiu:, sir," returned the sea-
man, touching his hat with much diffidence, " it's
no use firing into the Hke of her ; ye might as
weU fight an action without shot."
" ViThy — why } you old fool ! what d'ye think
she's made of.? Fire — I say, on this instant, or
111 do it myself."
" Well, sir, I'm perfectly agreeable !" returned
the seaman, pretending to misunderstand, and
resigning the port-fii'e into his commander's hand.
Croiser took it without a word ; quickly bending
down, he ran his eye along the sight — " Elevate
a little — and train to the right — so — out of the way
258 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
— now ! " The flash which burst forth with its
accompanying smoke, was swiftly rolled aside.
The sailors beheld the shot dash up a jet of foam
immediately before her.
" That's into her, sure enough ! if she's to be
touched with them things," remarked the seaman
as he watched in vain for the slightest effect.
" Hold your tongue, you dastardly coward!
and get out of my way, lest I cut you into ri-
" 'Coward' sir! I'm sony to hear that — I fear no
flesh and blood, or any thing that's made by hands :
— but I'll fire no gun 'gainst any thing of the other
world, for that's sure to bring down bad luck ; but
if your honour sees fit to cut me down, I'm very
agreeable, that's in the way of duty, and after all
'twould but be helping a poor fellow, belike, from
a worse death ! "
" Well, then, you're an old fool! so get away.
Ah ! here's the carpenter. Well, how's the water
on the lower deck ? Speak low ! "
" Risen a foot, sir! — we'll be down in ten
" Not a word more — move at your peril! M.
Rannolini," continued Croiser, turning to the fo-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 259
reigner, " we're sinking; we have no altemati^'e but
to board this vessel, the crew of which I suspect
have got tijDsy. Will you take charge of Char-
lotte ? "
" I have already done so," replied Rannolini.
" Very good. Gentlemen, you must be pre-
paired to save yourselves by getting on board in
the best way you can. Who has charge of Lady
Sapphira ? "
" I have," answered Nathaniel, who supported
her in his arms, she being senseless from hysterics
that only added to the confusion.
They were now within a few yards of the vessel.
Determined to frilfil his duty to the last, Croiser
paused to consider how he should act. It was
his place to see eveiy one safe out of the Pearl.
But Margarita — the feelings connected with her
in this dreadful hour were bitter, yet inexpressibly
dear — he would first see her in safety, and then
execute his difficult task.
" Here, my men, one of you take a rope round
your waist and jump on board that craft!" He
had no sooner given the order than ever}' man
aroimd him slunk away. " The cowardly rascals ! "
he muttered, stamping his foot as some indistinct
260 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
expressions of " determination never to board the
Flying Dutchman" revealed to him too truly what
was the source of their defection. " Here, Car-
penter, if you're not as craven-hearted as the
rest — quick, slip this running knot round your
body and leap on board."
" I, sir ; Lor ! I'm a cripple !" rej)lied the man,
shivering as if with an ague.
Tlie peril was imminent. " Oh, you fools, to
fly from shadows into actual danger — I must do it
Within the space of a few seconds he had
secured the fall of the jib-halliards to his body
and sheathing his sword, had given the speaking-
trumpet to Margarita to hold. She was stand-
ing by his side. As he turned towards her, and
beheld her there unshrinking in the midst of all
this danger, her luxuriant hair streaming in the wind,
while her pale face was visible in the homd gloom
of the night, he half forgot his duty in the
admiration of her patient courage. It was mo-
mentary — the strange vessel was on the point of
touching — all Margiee's attention seemed fixed on
him ; he took her hand — it trembled not — he
pressed it quickly and ardently to his lips, and
A TALE OF THE WAR. 261
holding her hght form securely in his left arm,
prepai'ed to take the leap.
" Stay ! " said Rannohni, placing his hand on
Croiser's shoulder. "With the vessel tossing in
this manner there is gi'eat danger; surely you had
better leave Margarita here, until you ascertain
if there's a safe footing } "
An expression of anguish passed rapidly over
Croiser's featm'es at this question. With her he
could have leaped contentedly, had it been into
the very jaws of death. There appeared but little
chance of being saved — why then lose the bliss of
dying in each other's amis? But there was a
chance ; it was therefore his duty to give her the
benefit of it : it would be selfish to do otherwise !
But she had heard Rannohni's remark, and yet
she neither disengaged herself fi*om his embrace,
nor relinquished the finn gi'asp which her right
hand had taken of his sword-belt. Her head
was still reclining on his shoulder — he looked in
her face, saying, with much emotion, " Which
do you prefer?"
Death was before her — she had but little hope
of escape — she was supported by one of whose
devotion she had touching proof; and in her
'262 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
heart there was a voice that pleaded no less
tenderly for him. No wonder then, at that
moment, the true impulse of her soul overcame
the barrier of female reserve — her reply was
scarcely distinct, as she murmured in his ear,
" With you ! " Volumes could not have expressed
more, or imparted greater delight. Drawing her
still closer towards him, until her cold forehead
touched his burning lip, he sprang away from
the bulwark of his forecastle, just as the Pearl
rose on the crest of a wave.
Urged by every thing that can stimulate man's
energies, his whole soul had been put forth with
tliat exertion, so that he came with considerable
violence against the main-shrouds of the strange
wreck, the greater part of which yet remained
standing. His first inquiry was if Margarita had
been hurt. Fortunately this was not the case, as
his form had been interposed in the contact.
Quickly descending to the deck, which appeared
totally deserted, he loosened the rope from his
body, and made it fast to the vessel. For a few
seconds he appeared to be contemplating a return
to the Pearl. Margarita discerned his thoughts,
and clinging once more to his arm, said, *' For
A TALE OF THE WAR. 263
Heaven's sake do not leave me, or if you must
go, take me with you ! "
" No, I will never leave you ! " he returned, as
he reflected, "their cowardice obliged me to come
first, I am therefore free to remain." Five minutes
had by this time elapsed since he received the
carpenter's report, according to which the Pearl
had only a second duration of that period to float.
Every second was a matter of life and death. He
had instructed Rannolini, that on the instant
when he beheld him safe on the sti'ange vessel,
he was to knot the end of the jib-halliards —
which he was to cut from the running part — to
the hawser, placed close at hand. This being
done, Croiser pulled it towards him, making it
fast in-board. Springing up on the bulwarks, he
applied the speaking-trumpet to his mouth —
" Tarpaulin, ahoy!" — A few seconds elapsed.
"Ay, ay, Sii-;"
"Jump forward on the forecastle, and help over
into this vessel all the passengers — lash your helm
a-lee so as to bring her alongside, fling out a
grapnel fr'om yoiu* quailer as a warp, and come
on board here ever}- one of you — the Pearl is
sinking I "
264 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
Owing to the tumult which now raged, and
Croiser being to leeward, only the first part o
his message was heard, which Tarpaulin at once
jumped forward to execute. Having hauled on
the hawser so as to bring the Pearl's bow close to
the gangway of the strange wTeck, Rannolini and
his fair young friend, Charlotte, were soon got on
board by the aid of Nine-fathom Tim. The Rev. Na-
thaniel and Lady Sapphira were also transported,
though with a little more difficulty; but the
marvellous Captain and the wonderful Major were
not to be found.
Croiser having assisted in getting over Ranno-
lini, appeared to view in his safety a release from
half his dangers. " Where's the Captain, Tar-
paulin? and where's the Major?" inquired he.
" Tliey're not within hail, sir — the skipper, he's
absent without leave ; and as for ould Pegs, he's
stuck hard and fast, I don't doubt it, 'twixt some
of the seams, for they begin to open."
" Come, come, Tai-paulin, why don't you send
over the ship's company?"
Ay, ay, sir," replied Tim, not knowing that
the order had been given before. He had just
turned round to repeat it to the men, when he
A TALE OF THE WAR. 265
saw them coming forward in a body to the fore-
castle, roaring out, '^ Cast her off— cut her adrift ! "
" Come, my lads ! " cried Tarpaulin, " the
Captain's a waiting for you on board, there, jump
on board as quick as you can — first come, fii'st
"*Jump on-board?'" returned two or three.
" D'ye think we're so green as not to be up to
Ould Nick? That's no ship that you see there —
that's the Flying Dutchman, if ever Flying Dutch-
man was seen. Cast her offi cut the tow — she's
only sinking us by laying alongside — it's a trap of
the Ould One to catch us aboard, and then go
Tarpaulin was astounded at their supersti-
tious madness, and endeavoured to reason
with them; but it was in vain. The report
had been spread by those who fii'st saw her;
terror, danger, and the terrific scene had unhinged
their minds sufficiently to give it credence.
The water was now gaining on them with great
rapidity, the waves dashed over her with unceas-
ing fiiry — her heavy hull laboured more and more
over the billows, the motion of which occasionally
buried her bow in water. Several of the crew,
VOL. II. N
266 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
intent on getting away from the fancied Dutch-
man, had seized the tomahawks from over the
guns to sever the hawser that still connected the
vessels. One man had his arm raised to give the
fatal stroke, when Tarpaulin seized him by the
collar, lifted the offender clear off the deck, and flung
him sprawling among the rest of his infatuated ship-
mates, saying at the same time, " ' Vast heaving,
you griffin — ^you and I's fish and fowl. I'd rather
have a Dutch ship than none at all! Well my
old shipmates, if ye won't come aboard, my advice
is — ^lioist your boats out, and look sharp, for if ye
do go to sleep over it, ye'U be slinging your
cots to-night in Davy Jones's locker; and as to
going there, why that's a journey I would'nt
recommend to a young gTeyhound." Then turn-
ing about, he took one step back, to put his vast
bulk in motion, and in the next moment sprang
through the air to fasten on the stranger's shrouds,
like a cat— by all fours.
A TALE OF THE WAR, 267-
A gallant bark hath left the bay,
O'er trackless seas to roam ;
And bounds along her watery way,
Yet ne'er shall reach her home."
Tarpaulin had no sooner gained a place of
refuge in safety, than he faced about, as if to
take a final view of his tight little craft before
she went down. While thus mouiTifully engaged,
he heard the cry of some one on-board the sinking
schooner. " Help me — oh help me ! Captain
The men had cut the hawser adrift, and by the
still continued flashes of lightning Tarpaulin
beheld Bombast struggling through the crew
on the forecastle, in order to get on board the
stranger, from which the Pearl was just sepa-
rating. Already she was two yards asunder. On
368 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
seeing this, Bombast paused, uttering piercing
cries for help, which it was impossible to afford
Tarpaulin seeing his situation, hailed him —
" Look sharp and run out along the bowsprit —
your jib-boom's still foul of our fore rigging 1 "
Taking this timely advice, he crept out as
quickly as his almost forgotten seamanship per-
mitted, and succeeded in reaching his destination,
just as Puff, that Achates Jidelis, made his appear-
ance on the forecastle, in still greater distress.
The distance between the vessels was now of course
increased — he was afraid to follow his friend
Bombast; first, because his wooden member would
be so unruly, and next, because, not having been
brought up at sea, he was unpossessed even of
Bombast^s small share of nautical dexterity. In
this dilemma he stood with much lamentation —
looking first at the bowsprit, then at the strange
vessel — then feeling his pockets behind, at the
same time losing each precious second that flitted
in-ecoverably past, while the vessels continued
This separation was still going on, and seemed
likely to continue till it was too late to save him ;
A TALE OF THE WAR. 269
Tarpaulin therefore, extending his arms, bawled out;
" Go it, old Pegs I now! Go it and jump over ; I'll
catch you," at this moment the Pearl was lifted up
on a wave — the opportunity was most favourable,
in another instant she might fall off too far for the
attempt. Mustering a momentary courage, he
sprang, but his usual timidity overtaking him at
the fatal crisis, it checked his career, and Tim with
outstretched arms beheld him plunge into the
trembhng waves beneath ! " Augh ! you'm a na-
tural fool," growled the wrathful TarpauHn,
shaking his fist at the unfortunate imbecile
struggling below. Turning quickly round, he
seized a coil of the stoutest rope which was hang-
ing on the belapng pins of the mainrigging, and
taking a close hitch roimd his \mst, he dropped
himself into the sea at the peril of his hfe, since to
a swimmer less expert and Herculean than himself
such a course would have been instant death. This
was not, however, the first time that Tim had been
obUged to swim for his life in a gale of wind, and
having perfect possession of himself, he managed ^o
lay hold of Puff's coUai' just as he was setting off on
that journey, which according to Tim's account,
was not to be recommended even to ^a young
270 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
greyhound/ He now hauled himself to the gang-
way, and watching his time when she rolled over
to leeward, he thrust his powerful hand into one of
the clefts of the gangway steps, where his vast
strength enabled him to maintain his position
while she rolled to windward.
Supporting his feet on the steps below, he now
gave his burden a shake, saying, " Come ye ould
Griffin ! look about ye ! Bear a hand up the side,
and take care ye don^t go tumbling overboard
again, for hang me if I pick you up." Much to
his surprise, however. Puff neither moved nor
spoke, so taking him in-board, he laid him on the
booms. In doing this there aj^peared to be some-
thing very heavy in the Wonderfiil Major's coat
pocket. " Holloa! what have we here ?" said Tim
as his eyes sparkled. " A prize by Jove !" pulling
forth a long-necked bottle of Cognac brandy.
" Come, this fellow's w^orth more than I .thought
after all" — stowing it away about his capacious
person. " Let's try the other tack. Holloa, missed
stays ! No no holds her own all right !" and pull-
ing a second from the other pocket, which as he
stowed away, he muttered, " N(5w that's what 1
call salvage ! It'll dry a fellow's wet jacket. What
A TALE OF THE WAR. 271
the deuce is this ? " taking out a brown paper parcel
which he unwrapped, " bread and beef — in pickle,"
he added, seeing how completely it was soaked in the
salt water. " Well, the old fellow seems to a know'd
that he was going on a sea-voyage, he's vittalled for
a blue water cruise — -very good stuff I dare say, but
tisn't in my way — so I'll shove it into his after hatch
again — I scorn to be dishonest. Let me see !
Shall I rouse the old boy ? Ehem ! that would
look 'spicious-like — so I'll just turn him bung
down, to let the salt water run out, and he can
come to at his leisure — or stay though ! fair ex-
change is no robbery, as I've repaid myself in
his brandy, I may as well give him a drop of
schnapps to comfort his kidneys. Here, where
are ye, old Sal t " In answer to this self inquiry*, he
drew forth that respectable lady of metal, and fill-
ing a brimming cup, found no difficulty in pouring
it down PuflTs tlu'oat. AATien convinced that it
was swallowed, he turned the militia-man face
downwards, sapng, " I wonder if the Griffin '11 be
raw enough to let that slip out 'long with the
brine ! If-so-be he does, it 'U sarve un right,
for he must be a fool not to have any 'scrimination
'twixt Dutch gin and salt water ! " and with this
272 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
logical conclusion he walked off to the forecastle,
where he saw Croiser and the rest of the passen-
As Tarpaulin went forward, he patted his hand
over the bottle of brandy, mumbling after his
manner, " Now that's what I calls a catch on a windy
morning like this, with my poor ould grog-case,
under sailing orders for Davy Jones. Ay, and
as good a two hunner pounds worth of lace and
toggery as ever a fellow stowed under his jacket —
and all my spare rhino gone too — that's agen my
grain, tho'f to be sure I'll make it up on the other
tack some day. Bat as to my ould grog-case, that's
a devil of a go surely, — that's a reg'lar pauler — I
wouldn't have missed that for all the lace in
Brushalls — I wonder if the old craft's gone down
yet?" Quickening his steps as this occurred to
him, he sprang up on the weather bulwark behind
Croiser and the rest.
Nearly ten minutes had now elapsed since the
two vessels had been cut adrift, and Croiser was
beginning to fear that the carpenter's fright might
have deceived him respecting the state of the Pearl,
and that he might have been precipitate in bringing
Margarita and the others from a beautiful httle
A TALE OF THE \\AR. 273
sea-boat into what was almost a wreck. There
was at this time a distance of at least twenty yards
between the two vessels ; the flashes of hghtning
still continued to reveal the Pearl's position, and
to all appearance she was in much the same
state as when they left her; the sound of many
voices commanding, was borne distinctly to lee-
ward. Presently it increased — it rose — ^became
louder — more wild — more shrill, until it seemed
to swell and gather into an agonized shriek, and
then was hushed.
" There she goes ! " said Croiser, who, \^-itli his
hands clasped so as to afford a focus for his eyes,
saw, or fancied he saw her tall and graceful masts
fall gradually over to leeward into the deadly em-
brace of the wild element beneath. Once more
the electric flash poured its dazzling hght upon
the bosom of the waters, and then they found
themselves alone! Around them tumbled the
surging billows in angiy strife with the gale sweep-
ing over them, their foamy crests reflecting back
the fearful fires of Heaven that in this dance of
death skipped from wave to wave. But in all this
scene, the graceful form of the Pearl of the Ocean,
which had so lately swam there in all her pride
274 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
and beauty, was no longer to be seen. Her last
voyage had been taken ! " full fifty fathom down "
she lay, and scattered round her, the bodies of her
gallant, but superstitious crew.
Thrice the survivors waited for the return of the
lightning to confirm their suspicions before they
spokci " This is the realization of my present-
iment!" said Rannolini, mournfully, laying his
hand on Croiser's shouldet.
" Too true!" returned the latter with consider*
able emotion, in French ; then adding in his native
tongue, "Poor fellows, they*re all gone! — and
— amongst them, one I have valued for years,
honest old heart ! " while a tear glistened in his
eye. " I would not have lost him for the bright-
est jewel in England's crown. Poor Tim — ^poor
Tarpauhn — he's gone too!"
" Urhm ! " blubbered some gruff Voice from be-
hind, " but, axing your honour's pardon, he's not
so green as to leave a good skipper for Davy Jones
on such a windy morning ! "
At those well-known accents, Croiser instantly
turned his head, and to his inexpressible joy all
his fears were dispelled. It was indeed Nine-fa-
thom Tim ! Past and present dangers were for*
A TALE OF THE WAR. 275
gotten. Thrusting forth his hand, he seized that
of his old shipmate, saying, " What then, you old
vagabond, you're really here — and how have you
managed to escape ? "
" Pretty well, your honour! pretty well, thank
ye ! " returned Tim, aflfected with the kindness of his
captain, " all things considered ; 'septin ye see,
your honour, IVe lost my ould grog-case ! "
" No, no, your honour! Not so bad as that nei-
ther! No, my ould case what your honour re-
members was made out of the Pomony* by my
ould messmate Bill Shakings. He was cast awav,
poor chap, off the coast of Africky ! "'
" W^ell, well, Tim, if that's all, we can give
you a better one when we get ashore.''
"Ay, ay, yom* honour, behke you'll give me
a better one, or a gold 'un for the matter o' that ;
but it won't have been made by Bill Shakings, nor
have been with me calm and squall, high or low,
nor have kept my old mother's tea; for ye see, the
good 'oman used it as a tea-chest for many's the
long day, when I left it, hke the Dutchman's an-
276 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
clior, at home, till, as your honour knows, she
set off. to Davy Jones from Portsmouth harbour
one cold morning — let alone beside all this, having
held more rale good licker than ever I shall drink
agen — more's the sorrow ! Will your honour have a
drop o' something short this could morning?'"' proffer-
ing a dram of spirit in the top of his " Sal Moffat."
" Not now, thank ye, Tim."
" Urhm — that's bad iillossify in your honour!""
tossing it off himself; then pausing gravely, while
he knit his brows, " but after all, I'm a thinking
'tis som'hat hard-hearted to be piping about an
ould grog-case, when there's so many a brave chap
gone down in our tight little barkey to windward.
— I hope old Davy's given her a snug berth below, —
who measured five foot ten, if not some inches
more, — especially seeing I've got my dudeen here
all safe, to blow a cloud with," taking off his hat
and viewing with great satisfaction tlie blackened
little stump of pipe that never quitted its station.
" Come, come, Tarpaulin, it's no use looking
out for the poor Pearl — she's gone ! "
" Ay, your honour ! that's as clear as mud in
a wine glass, and bad luck to the saying of it!"
A TALE OF THE WAR. 277
" Well then, let's look about us, I dare say we
shall find the crew of this craft all below as tipsy
" Why as to that, your honour, I think they've
desarted the poor vessel; for any how it seems
theyVe hoisted out the boats ! '"
Croiser started at this observation, and turned
to Margarita to inquire how she felt. Tlie latter
did not speak nor raise her head fi-om his shoulder,
where, covered vrith her hands, she had hid her
face, so as not to see the sinking of the Pearl.
Croiser began to be alanned, though he could feel
the pulsations of her heart as it throbbed near his
own. "Margarita — dearest Margarita I " She looked
up, and Croiser inquired, " How are you, Marga-
rita ? Are you cold or wet r "
" Nothing to signify, I thank you ; though I should
be very glad to go below, if it be possible ! ''
•' You shall do so immediately. I will get down
and assist you to do the same."
Having placed Margaiita in safety on the deck,
he turned to Ramiolini. " I fear we must make
the most of what the Fates send. Suppose we go
below and examine the cabins ? The ladies once
disposed of, we must see aa hat can be done to-
278 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
wards making some sail on this hulk, for we have
a fair wind."
" Thou art right, Croiser ; it is on action that
we must rely. We will descend. Now, Made-
moiselle Charlotte, suppose we go below ? "
" Ah Captain Croiser ! there is always a great
deal of sense in your remarks," chimed in Bom-
bast; " it can be no manner of use our staying
up here, in such a gale: never saw such a gale
since my passage home from the Longbow Is-
lands ! A most disastrous affair this ! most dis-
astrous ! To think of poor Puff being lost too —
and all through his own timidity. But Puff, it
must be confessed — though in other respects a
very good fellow — always had weak nerves. And
the United Blunderbuss Journal too — well I sup-
pose that I must take the editorship of that my — "
" No, that I be whipped if you shall, Captain
Bombast!" sputtered forth the Wonderful Major,
at this ill-timed moment, starting up from the booms
opposite to which the captain now stood. He had
recovered his senses, and was marvelling how he
came to be in his present predicament, when he heard
his name and fame assailed by his dear friend, and
sprang up at once to defend them. " You most
A TALE OF THE WAR. 279
ungrateful slanderer — thus to — to — attack me when
I'm dead — or rather that's to say when you thought
I was dead ! I to whom you owe so much ! I
who've said so much more in your favour than you
ever deser%^ed. I who have paid you sliilling after
shilling for your twice-laid articles that were no*
thing more than a day's log at the first. I, — I say
who have allowed you to write puff after puff, and
criticism after criticism on your own exaggerated
works — to call me, sir, a man of weak nerves !
It's a falsehood, su', you know it! I'm not of
weak nerves ! "
" Of weak nenes ? No, Major ! he should have
said of weak understandrag," interrupted Chai'-
lotte, as Puff in his hurry to approach Bombast,
pat his wooden member through one of the holes in
the waist grating, and shd down like a man on
one knee, while the manellous captain startled at
this sudden resurrection of his '' dear friend," took
to his heels round the forecastle, firmly believing
that it could be nothing less than Puff's ghost
This incident haWng temjDorarily diverted the
gloom of the party, they raised the mihtia-mau
from his state of abasement, and endeavoured to
assuage his wrath by showing him the folly of
280 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
expecting in this world to meet with " a friend" who
would not take every opportunity of calumniating
him when his back was turned, whether in death or
Having in some sort reconciled this worthy pair,
or at least neutralized the effects of their anger,
tliey proceeded on a voyage of discovery beloAv;
Tarpaulin went down the after hatchway first.
He had not reached more than half way to the
bottom, when he started back, exclaiming, " Hol-
loa! why w^hat's here? Stand back, Captain
Croiser, till I see what's the matter ! " Tarpaulin
then descended to the deck below, merely put his
head under the hatches, and then instantly re-
turned to his commander. His face, had there been
sufficient light, would have foretold some new
disaster; as it was, the solemn change in his
voice startled his young commander, who even
then was not prepared to hear Tim's sad intelli-
gence. Speaking in a whisper, lest it might frighten
Margarita, he said " Save us, your honour ! we've
jumped out of one mess into another; this rip of a
vessel is water-logged— she's got three feet of salt
brine on her deck below. I don't expect she's a
clear half-hour to live ! "
A TALE OF THE WAR. 281
Croiser remained silent — he was petrified with
the sudden blow which this gave to all his hopes.
Better to have perished in his own vessel, sur-
rounded by his gallant crew, than have come here
to meet a worse, because a more hngering fate
with the additional horror of having seen all his
comrades go down within hail — of ha\'ing heard
their last death agonies 1
'' What does he say r" inquired Rannolini, who
had seen Tarpaulin communicate something to
his commander, and had witnessed its effect.
Croiser briefly repeated it.
" Bah ! this is unfortmiate —I had thought the
worst was past! ' Three feet of water,' say you.^
Then she must soon go down. To think of being
dro^Tied in such a tub of a vessel as this I Is it
not annoying ? AYell come, there's no time to be
lost. It is our duty to do all that is possible.
"^Tiat say you ? — you have had a naval education
— what step ought we to take?"
" Alas ! I scarcely know — her boats are all
" Well then, it is clear we have nothing to
which we can trust, except a raft. Let us set to
work this instant; and do thou, Croiser, spur
S82 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
Up those imbeciles, and make them useful for
" What is the matter, Captain Croiser ? " in-
quired Margarita, alarmed at the secret conver-
sation between him. Tarpaulin, and Rannolini.
" For Heaven's sake tell me all ! I can bear any
thing better than suspense. Are we in the hands
of pirates ? Are any poor people killed below ? "
" Defend us ! " exclaimed Puff and Bombast
starting back from the hatchway— "' killed'? —
what ! people murdered below } "
" No, gentlemen, you have nothing of that sort
Croiser then informed the ladies of the melan-
choly fact with as much delicacy as the case
permitted, and offered them all the consolation
which it was in his power to bestow.
Lady Sapphira was in a state that did not
allow her to understand anything, and the cynical
Nathaniel found it as much as he could do to
take charge of her. On Charlotte this sudden
reverse fell heavily, and again checked those
buoyant spirits, whose rise was instantaneous on
the disappearance of the imminent danger which
before threatened them. She was unable to view
A TALE OF THE WAR. 283
with composure, this fresh aud still more temble sum-
mons from the bright gaieties of hfe, when seemingly
on the point of being restored to them, and was there-
fore considerably affected by it. Rannolini endea-
voured to soothe her with all that kindness which was
so natural to him, and undertook the charge of the sis-
ters while Croiser set to work with his companions in
forming a raft. Margarita was still herself; her hopes
had not been extravagantly raised, neither were
they now depressed. She viewed her approaching
end with the same unflinching calmness that
she had evinced under the agonies of starvation,
while a secret pleasure reigned in her heart
at being in the society of him she loved. While
his figure was suflSciently near, it was on him that
her eyes were fixed, when his duty called him
to another part of the deck, it was his voice that
her ear was strained to catch.
Croiser's first step was to muster his force : it
consisted of Tai*paulin and himself, Bombast,
Puff, and Garnet, who had been sufficiently free
from superstitious terror to follow the passengers
from the sinking vessel. Ever}' thing depended
on their activity, and on this night it was put to
the severest test.
284 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" Tarpaulin, my boy ! " said Croiser, " have
you your knife about you ? "
" Have I my head on my shoulders, sir ? "
" Yes, and it's nearly as thick as your steel ; so
turn to and cut adrift these booms on both sides
for your Hfe. See that all the spars are clear of
any lashing to the deck, which can drag them
down when the old craft founders. Then take all
the lai'gest, such as the spare topmasts, topsail-
yards, and studding-sail booms, and pass a
secure lashing athwart them all, in half a dozen
places. While you're doing this, . Garnet and
myself will lash these dozen spare oars at top and
bottom, to keep them from coming together. You,
Captain Bombast, will be kind enough to unstow
all the hammocks from the nettings, and bring
them to us; while Major Puff will unship all the
waist and quarter-deck sky-light gratings, and
convey them here. If you move yourselves
quickly, we may yet form a raft that will stand
the sea, before she settles dowai."
Inspired by the master-spirits that directed
them, the subordinates fagged with the energy
of men, who, on the brink of destruction, can yet
discern some chances of redemption. Rannolini
with his fair protegees, stood under the lee of the
A TALE OF THE WAR. 285
mainniast, viewing the work as it proceeded just
before him, and from time to time pointing out
any improvement that his universal genius sug-
Half an hour had elapsed, the work was pro-
ceeding Tsith uninterrupted ardour, and though
the vessel had evidently sunk during that period,
yet the slowness with which the water gained on
her hull, gave them increased hopes of finishing
" Courage, my Croiser! Courage! Nothing is
absolutely denied to perseverance. How art thou
getting on at the other end ? It is so dark that I
cannot see ! What is my old Atlas about ? ^
" Oh, he is working bravely, we have secured
all the longitudinal spars together, as weU as the
layer across : over the latter you see we have
lashed these small gratings, they come in capitally
to form a continuous platform. Luckily for us they
have left their painted canvass boat-cover behind
them, and that, together vriih. the boom cloth
spread over the gi'atings, will keep the water from
penetrating beneath. Above will come this layer
of junk, and over all will be laid the bedding fi'om
these twenty hammocks, the blankets and canvass
286 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
of which will keep us pretty well sheltered from
" Come, come, this is famous ! Who would
despair when so much may be gained by exertion ?
Croiser, thou wert born to command a fleet !
But it strikes me, that if yonder thick rope," point-
ing to the mainstay, " is allowed to remain, it may
come across our raft and drag it down ! "
" True ! Tarpaulin shall cut it away. Tar-
paulin, do you jump forward presently and cut
away the main and main -spring stays !"
" Ay, ay, your Honour, just wait a bit while I
put a few finishing stitches into this matter forward
here. I'm just a seizing the bedding down, and
when that's finished, we may clap on your tinpot
faces at the worst of it."
The moment at length arrived when it was
finished. Croiser having gone round and minutely
inspected every part, returned with the utmost
joy to announce to Margarita that it was now ready
for the reception of those whose lives were to be
entrusted to its stability.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 287
•' Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of
barren ground : long heath, brown furze, any thin^ : the wills
above be done I But I would fain die a dry death — Speak to the
mariners, fall to't yarely."
The reader must not suppose, because I have
gone on describing very quietly the progi'ess of
this invention, that it was accomphshed under
favourable circumstances ; on tlie contrary, the
wind, though not so violent as it had threaten-
ed to be, still lashed the waves around them into
considerable fury, so that the latter often broke
over the deck where they were. For the last half
hour also, a drizzling rain had come on, though as
Tim remarked, '* It wasn't necessar}* to their safety
or comfort, since the spray was enough to wet a
man through to the hone'' In consequence of
288 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
this, he had himself indulged in one or two po-
tations from the lady of his lips, and had advised
his commander " to sarve out an extra allowance
of grog to the young ladies abaft, as well as to that
Johnny Crappo ; who to be sure — bating that he
was a Frenchman, — was a gemman every inch of
Besides this attention to their wants, Croiser
had also wrapped a couple of blankets round the
persons of each of the ladies, when the hammocks
were first unstowed. They now took their seats
on the raft. The sisters were placed in the middle,
Rannolini still by the side of Charlotte, and Croiser
by that of Margarita ; Lady Sapphira and Na-
thaniel before ; Tarpaulin, Garnet, Bombast, and
Puff behind. In this way they sat for some time,
talking as well as the incessant roar of the elements
would permit them, until Tarpaulin seeing that
" the young ladies" had some difficulty in ad-
justing their temporary mantles around their per-
sons, begged pennission to act in the capacity of
habit-maker, and producing his case of sail-needles
from some of his capacious pockets, soon sewed
the sides of two blankets together, so that they
were then large enough for a convenient cloak.
A TALE OF THE WAR. 289
Having lent a needle to Croiser, and another to
Garnet, the whole party were soon equipped with
the same rough but serviceable habiliment.
" Well done, Tarj^aulin !" said Croiser, "that
was a good idea of yours, what"
" Here we go ! Hold taut, my lads ! " interrupted
Tarpaulin, giving the note of preparation as the
sudden rush of water up the hatchways, proclaimed
the vessel on the point of sinking — a tremendous
sea at that moment struck her on the bow, and
while it poured its volumes of water with resist-
less fury along her decks, she trembled violently
for a few seconds, the water bubbled up from be-
low, and her bulwarks gTadually settled in the
waves, which now broke over them, and presented
on every side a ridge of foam that frothed and
swelled around the raft floating in the centre.
No sooner did Lady Sapphira feel the water
rushing on her in all directions, and comprehend
the instant peril which that scene so plainly be-
spoke, than she uttered the most piercing shrieks.
These terrified Bombast and Puff to that degree,
that they joined in them ; ]\Iargarita and Charlotte
were silent, and contented themselves with cling-
ing to those who had undertaken to be their pro-
VOL. II. o
290 THE POET ADMIRAL,
lectors, while Garnet and Tarpaulin prepared to
execute any orders which they might receive, and
bent all their attention to the difficult part they
had to play in getting clear of the foundering hull.
This state of things lasted for two minutes, and
when the first excitation of the moment had sub-
sided, their extreme surprise was called forth by
the fact of the hull not having sunk — there she
remained in statu quo — her deck completely
flooded, and the sea breaking over her hammock
sails ! Now she rose a little, again she sunk.
'' Now then she's going!" No — once more she
rose, this lasted for five minutes.
" Well, I begin to think them fellows had some
sense in them after all," said Tim. "This may be
a Dutch ship, but she isn't an English one to be
so much afeard of the bottom ! "
" Oh!" replied Garnet, " she'll go presently.
Don't be making yourself unaisy, Tim ! May be
there's some air confined 'tween decks, that's keep-
ing her up ! "
" Ay, ay, very likely ; may be as you say, the
ould lady's got the wind — or the colic for any
thing 1 know — with so much salt water, like
enough — this I know, if she hasn't I have — will
A TALE OF THE WAR. 291
ye have a drop of something short, Bo, till this
craft makes sail and leaves us a little sea-room ? "
"Come, Master Tarpaulin," said Croiser, "do not
keep all that to yourself; but hand a httle here."
" Ay, ay, your Honour, you may take my word
for it this is the very best of companions on sich a
voyage of discovery. Here, your Honour, here's
a bottle of brandy."
" T\Tiy, I do declare that's one of mine," inter-
" One of your's ? Pooh, how should it be one
of your's, when you've a been overboard ? Didn't
I see your cargo chop out as I hauled you up the
" Did it ? How provoking ! "
"Oh, yes!" added Bombast, "Tarpaulin says
what is quite correct, I saw them fall myself."
" Well, well, gentlemen, these are minor points,
here it is for the good of us all. Taq^auhn, lend
me your little cup." This being rinsed, it was
filled with spirit, and given to each of the ladies,
then to Rannolini and the rest of the party.
" Surely, Croiser," said the foreigner, " it is
very odd that tliis vessel does not sink — most sin-
gular; I cannot make it out. Stay, my friend,
I have it. Of what is her cargo composed?
Surely she must be a timber ship ! "
" You are right! by Jove you are right! That
must indeed be it: and now I think of it, she
bears every exteraal appearance of being such.
Tarpauhn, my lad, give us your opinion on the
subject. This gentleman says that the cargo be-
low must be timber, and that's the reason she
doesn't sink ! "
" Ilah ! He does — does he, your Honour ? "
answered Tim quickly. " Then tell him, with my
sarvice, he's a knowing chap for a Frenchman —
to think of his having found that out first! That
goes against my grain — why, your Honour, you
and I have been asleep ! But he's right after all ;
he's right! She is a timber-hulk by her build. I
thought she was very long in the waist for an
ordinary trader." A few minutes more of reflec-
tion convinced them that they were connect in
their conjecture, and this being the case, it was
incumbent on them to pursue another course.
Croiser now saw that Rannolini's advice as to
forming a raft, had been the most connect that
could possibly have been offered, since without it
they would have been unable to have kept their
A TALE OF THE WAR. 293
feet on the upper deck, over which there was not
unfrequently half a fathom of water. Even as it
was, they were completely drenched on the raft,
and by the extreme motion of the vessel the water
constantly flowed over it, and sometimes dashed
it against the waist bulwai-k, with a force that
threatened to cany all before it. To prevent this
some more ropes were cut away from what re-
mained of the rigging, and were made to ser\e as
gilguys that kept the raft in its place. They were
now pretty sm'e that they could not go down,
unless their surmise as to the nature of the cargo
had been incorrect; and inspirited by this convic-
tion, Croiser drew upon the abundant resources
of his invention with redoubled ardour.
" What does not now depend upon me } " said
he internally. " Think on Rannolini ! Think on
Margarita!" also whispered his heart. "Think
that her gentle form, still weak from her recent
sufferings and privation, is now exposed to the
inclement blast, and the relentless fury of the
waves ! Think what a claim on her young heart
to have saved her from such a fate!" — it needed
not to think of more. He sprang up from the
raft, saying, "Come, Tarpaulin, my boy; and
294 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
you also, Garnet, let us see what we can do
towards getting this old log under some sail. By
the dead reckoning of yesterday noon, as well as
by observation, we cannot be so far off from our
" I'm glad to hear it, your Honour ! for I think
myself weVe a had enough o' this for a change.
Come, Garnet, bo, jump up, and mind to hold
your own as you go about these decks, or you
may soon be whipped off! As for me, you
know this is nothing to a chap that's stood for
hom's in nine fathom of water, and not enough
to drown him after all ! "
" Tarpaulin, do you take the eye of the main-
stay, the lashing of which you cut away some
time since ; go forward with it, and lash it to the
starboard bow-port. Garnet, do you take the
spring-stay, and do the same on the other side;
while I stitch two or three of these hammocks on
a bolt-rope for a sail. Tarpaulin, lend me your
neddles and twine."
" Ay, ay, your Honour ! here they aie ; but
please to have a care how your honour expends
them, as we haven't uncle George's stores in the
yard to draw upon."
A TALE OF THE WAR. 295
The men then set to work on their appointed
duty; this finished, they returned to help Croiser,
and in a short time the fore-yard was secured,
and four hammocks, two on each side of the
mast stretched out to catch the gale. This ac-
comphshed, they had recourse to the same ma-
noeuvre on the main-yard, as soon as they had
succeeded in getting her head before the wind.
In gales such as the one which is here de-
scribed, it is almost inconceivable to the mind of
a landsman how ships under bare poles — that is,
without sails — should be propelled at the pro-
digious rate at which the}^ have been known to
go ; instances are on record of its having amounted
even to fifteen miles an hour. In a case like the
present, however, where the ship was not built
for fast sailing, and the circumstance of her being
water-logged made her he so low in the water, it
could not be expected that she would go at a
greater rate than seven miles an hour, even with
her eight hammocks set as sails; they were there-
fore much delighted when Croiser was enabled by
seeing the velocity wdth which the water flowed
past them, to announce that such was their
296 THE PORT ADxMIRAL,
The binnacles were yet left on deck, and one of
the compasses still fit for use; Tarpaulin was
placed at the helm for the first hour, Garnet
relieved him, and Croiser was to take it next.
Preparatory to this he mounted to the foretop,
where a joyful sight awaited him. Far away on
the larboard bow he beheld, as the ship rose on
the sea, the dull glimmer that proceeded from the
Eddystone hghthouse. A shout of joy escaped
him as he fixed his eyes on that well-known
beacon, and hailed it as a promised restoration of
life fi'om above. Hastening down, he commu-
nicated these glad tidings to the party. Charlotte
was overjoyed; Margarita said nothing, but the
glance with which she returned his warm pressure
of her hand, was to him worth a language of
*' Eddystone lighthouse, eh, Croiser? Come,
that's not so bad. On my map they mark it as
some fifteen miles distant from Plymouth, is that
" Very nearly. Monsieur. Perhaps it may be a
"Bravo! when shall we be in there, Croi-
ser? Thou art a prince of a sailor. Ladies, we
A TALE OF THE WAR. 297
owe all to your gallant and handsome young
friend — but for him we should now have been
with those brave fellows that went down.
Would to heaven that they were with us. But to
look back is vain. Tell me, Croiser, when shall
we arrive in Plymouth .?"
" If every thing continues favourable, about
nine in the morning — it is now nearly four."
" Here, Croiser, bend thy head to me," whis-
pering, " you are sure you have those papers and
those jewels safe ? "
" Safe as myself," pointing to the square little
case strapped round him.
" That is right ! suppose we now give the
ladies a little brandy. They must require it by
this time. What a grand scene we have wit-
nessed — how sublime is this storm even now ! It
is well worth while to have endured our hardships
to have beheld such a wai* of elements, though,"
adding in a graver tone, " I know not that I
would dare such a voyage again for such an end."
" Ah ! Monsieur, grand as it is, it is nothing to
what I have witnessed."
" No ? But no ! I dare say it is not."
" Here, your honour," interrupted Tarpaulin,
298 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
" here's the brandy ; will you serve it out ? 1 dare
say the ould Major's there, and the skipper can
rummage out a little provisions, if they unstow
their after-pouches, for it was foraging in your
cabin, that kept 'em so much after time. They
well nigh lost their passage ! "
Here Puff protested he had nothing about him,
wondering at the same time how Tarpaulin should
have known anything about it. This protest was
correct, for he had taken an opportunity when
unseen, of devouring the provisions which Tim
had returned to his pocket. Bombast, however,
being of a more sordid disposition, yet possessed
the greater part of his prey untouched, and not
having been overboard like Puff, it was less wet.
Being obliged to bring this forth, it fell into Ran-
nolini's hands. He divided it into three portions,
which he gave to Charlotte, Margiee, and Lady
Sapphira, while the owner who was on the watch
for his share, looked lamentably woe-begone at
being thus disappointed.
Lady Sapphira's hysterics did not prevent her
from dispatching her 'frustrum,' as she would
have termed it, at once. The twins insisted on
dividing their portions, of which no one however
A TALE OF THE WAR. 299
would accept, save Puff and Bombast, who of all
the party least required it. Soon the clouds light-
ening on their starboard quarter, proclaimed that
tlie sun was once more approaching our hemi-
sphere, though his bright beams were quenched
with the mists through which he had to struggle.
No sun-rise, however glorious, was ever hailed
with more enthusiastic feelings of dehght ; as day-
light strengthened, so the factitious luminan,- of
man paled away, and in its place they now beheld
the beautiful column of the Eddystone, rising from
the circlet of foam that surroimded its base. At
half-past six they passed this superb Hght-
house, over the summit of which, the water was
not unfrequently dashed, and then flung back into
a wild jet of foam.
Rannohni gazed at this object long and ardenll} ,
until it was left behind ; he then sat down with a
sigh, a mode which he sometimes used to express
admiration and envy combined. Yet it was not a
sigh in which those around could detect its origin,
but a suppressed expiration of the breath that
only bespoke his feelings to those accustomed to
interpret his shghtest meaning. With every mile
over which their unwieldy bark was propeDed, the
800 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
spirits of the party rose in proportion. Tarpaulin,
in particular, contributed much to their amuse-
ment by his long stories and quaint remarks.
Hoiu: after hour passed, until they beheld Penlee
Point on their lee bow, and on the other, the bluff
precipitous rock of the Mewstone ; with its mil-
lions of winged denizens covering its summit and
screeching their wailing cries to the blast.
With considerable emotion, Margarita contem-
plated that inauspicious spot, to reach which they
had first set out, and which they now beheld once
more, after almost incredible hardships, while
half of those beings in whose company she
had last seen it, were no longer in existence.
However, there was but a short space of time for
such sombre reflections ; they were rapidly ap-
proaching the shore. Already on the western side
of the bay, they beheld the wild surges foaming
on the rugged rocks that formed the boundaries of
Mount Edgecumbe. Above these were seen the
dark and twisted pine-trees, bending to the blast
which swept over them in all its fury, till at
length, the old grey ruins of the gothic tower stood
forth to view on its barren hill.
As they were therefore compelled to run their
A TALE OF THE WAR. 301
vessel on shore somewhere, and as it was utterly im-
possible to bring such a log to an anchor, Croiser na-
turally wished to choose some spot on the grounds
from which the ladies might be easily conveyed to
the house. For this purpose, Bam Pool appeared
to be the most desirable place on account of its
sheltered situation. But to the accomplishment
of such a project there was a formidable difficulty.
The reader will remember that in the middle of
the sound lay St. Nicholas' Island, between the
western extremity of which and the opposite
point, jutting out from the Port Admiral's grounds,
ran a line of rocks under water termed " the
Bridge." The only time duiing which it was
possible to pass over this impediment, was at or
near high tide. There was to be sure a clear
passage round the other end of St. Nicholas'
Island, on the opposite side of the bay ; but in
such a gale, ten to one if the best equipped ship
could come to the wind and hold her course suf-
ficiently well to recrossthe bay between the island
and the main, while in such a wreck of a vessel, it
would be madness to attempt it, unless with the
idea of being stranded imder the Hoe to leeward,
now exposed to the direct influence of the gale,
302 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
and with the almost certain chance of total de-
struction on the pointed rocks which fringed the
base of this hill. The state of the tide therefore
was a question of the greatest moment. Croiser
having reflected, came to a decision himself, and
then asked Tim for his calculation, to see if it would
coincide. After puzzling for some time on his
fingers, Tarpaulin asserted that there was yet
half an hour's flood tide, which agreed so well
with Croiser's opinion, that he determined to run
the risk. With this resolution he walked aft to
take the helm, and steered direct for the narrow
passage between the island and Mount Edgecumbe.
Before he went he gave the ladies in charge to
Rannolini — begged them above all things to keep
their seats, and left Garnet with them to obey any
orders they might give.
Having the utmost reliance on the skill and
judgment of Tarpaulin, he now took Tim aft with
him to the helm. As they drifted in, their eyes
encountered a sight but little calculated to allay
the fears of people in their situation. The whole
line of coast surrounding the sound, was one con-
tinous line of white foam, dotted in numerous
places with a dark spot, which the saddened eye
A TALE OF THE WAR. 303
presently discovered to be a wTeck. On the heights
above each of these melancholy spectacles, were to
be seen a crowd of persons attracted by curiosity
or the hope of spoil, or a few with the charitable
wish of proving serviceable to their fellow creatures.
But in too many instances they were obliged to
behold the last struggling in vain with the resist-
less might of the maddened elements, sucked by
the insatiate wave into a watery tomb, or dashed
in death upon the jagged rocks.
Turning his eye resolutely from every thing that
could divert his attention, and bending all his
faculties to the task which he had to execute,
Croiser stood on the starboard side of the wheel
that enabled him to steer the vessel, while Tim,
more accustomed to the navigation of this dan-
gerous passage, steadied the spokes to leeward,
and helped to conn her course.
" Now, sir! give her a wee bit o' weather
" Take care, Tim, and don't be rash."
"'Rash'? Not I, your honour! I could steer
the best craft that ever swam under six hundred
ton over this bridge and yet sleep sound and
snoring all the while — steady ! so, sir — now, your
804 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
honour, a leetle bit o' starboard again. I know
this passage as well as e'er a water rat does his
hole — now, starboard again, your honour. I just
want to bring that blockhouse on with Dick Mor-
ris's quay, under Mount Wise — so, I've got him.
Now, your honour, you bring that old green ruin
on with yonder hummock, and I'll have her over
the bridge in the twinkling of a bed post ! "
" Very well, Tim."
" Steady, so, sir ; steady. Why, your honour's
sending Dick Morris's quay to * no man's land.'
Try back a bit, your honour."
" Why, then, I shall not be able to bring my
bearings on right."
" Yes, you will, your honour — so— now. Is
the hummock on, sir ? "
" Yes, Tarpaulin."
" Now, then, sir — now look out. Holdfast; here's
the rub. Here we go. Hold on. Hah ! 'Vast
— 'vast heaving! Right your helm. Right — right,
for your life, sir ! We've struck ! ! " A tremen-
dous shock, that made the immense mass of their
vessel quiver from one end to the other, confirmed
these dreadful words. A sea struck her weather-
quarter, breaking furiously along the whole length
A TALE OF THE WAR. 305
of her deck. A shriek arose from Lady Sapphira,
anxious as usual, to distract her friend as much as
possible. " Down with your helm. To leeward
your honour I down with it ! She's broaching to 1 "
cried Tarpaulin, making the spokes of the wheel
Hy round with the greatest rapidity, while his
gigantic form stood like a rock with the sea
streaming from it as the waves retired.
" How is she now. Tarpaulin? Does she go
" Not yet, your honour! We must wait a
" Now then look out, here comes another sea."
" Ay, and welcome, sir! Hold on! hold on
like a young greyhound to his breakfast ! Now
then, your honour! Right the wheel again ! — quick
for the body and soul o' ye ! Here she goes —
we're off! Hurrah, my hearties, we're off! The
sea that broke upon her stem outstripped in its
force even the last — a grating sound was heard, as
if an iron cable was running overboard — a second
shock, and " She's free, your honour ! she's free ! "
burst from the delighted Tarpaulin, as the ship
once more slid off into deep water, and was urged
forward on her course. " The tide was a little bit
306 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
lower than our reckoning, your honour, or I be
bound, give me the time of tide and a craft that
answers her helm a little more readily, and I'd
make her spin over that bridge, blow high or low,
In a few minutes their vessel arrived in Bai'n
Pool, where the first thing that Croiser beheld on
shore was the Port Admiral, with all his servants.
He had seen the vessel strike on the bridge, and
had hurried out with his usual kindness to afford
all the assistance in his power. On seeing her get
afloat again, he rightly conjectured that she would
most likely strike on some part of the grounds,
though utterly unconscious of her precious fireight,
for the safety of whom he had been in the utmost
despair, until the arrival of the launch sent on
before by Croiser. Inspirited by this sight, Croi-
ser joyfully put the helm up to turn aside into
the little cove in which the poor Pearl had lain
before, but unfortunately the rudder of the hulk
had been so much injured by its late collision
that the huU no longer answered its direction.
Croiser now beheld that their fate was in other
hands. " Here, Tarpaulin," said he, " do you
take this helm, we are driving directly on for that
A TALE OF THE WAB. 307
green ruin, as tou call it; sinc^ we can do no
better, endeavour to keep her so, while I jiunp
forward, and prepare them for striking." In an
instant he was on the rafl, Margarita's hand
was clasped in his, while with the other he re-
tained a firm hold of a rope. " Hold fast ! ** said
he, " every one of you; we are about to strike!'*
Scarcely had the words issued firom his lips, when
crash went her bow against the shore. Her
motion once arrested, her stem became the mark
for every wave ; and propelled by such resistless
force, she was at each stroke lifted hi^er up on
the rocks, until one more furious than the rest
struck her on the weather quarter, and droTC her
broadside-on upon the shore. As she could now
go no higher, and the waves made a continual
breach over her, their only care was to leave her
as soon and as safely as posj>ible.
They had been so far favoured in their site
as to be cast immediately under the walls of the
little battery, which, as the reader knows, was on
the left of the harbour entrance. These walls
once gained, and they were safe. The mode
of doing this, however, was not very easy. In
addition to their presenting a perpendicular sur-
308 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
face of ten feet, they were three or four yards
distant, while the intervening space was filled
with sharp craggy rocks, which the foam of the
sea distinctly showed to general view, while it
concealed the details necessary for obtaining a
footing on them. The cat-fall still remained on
deck. Attaching the end of this rope to the first
heavy substance which they could find. Tarpaulin
was instructed to fling it on shore, where the
Port Admiral's men were directed to make it fast.
This done, the fish -fall was taken and knotted
into a pair of slings in the middle, which tra-
versed the first rope; and one end of it being
kept on board, the other was flung on shore.
The ready wit of the Port Admiral immediately
understood this contrivance, and putting the last
rope into the hands of his men, held them in
readiness to run away with it. Croiser in order
to give confidence risked his person the first,
but as he was quite certain of its safety, he took
Margarita with him. It was not for her, of
course, to raise objections — nay, if the truth
must be told, she would hardly have felt safe —
certainly not happy, in the protection of another.
Having seated himself firmly in the slings before-
A TALE OF THE WAR. 309
mentioned, and seen that Margarita was in no
danger of falling — the signal was given, and the men
pulled them in; the slings gliding over the first
cat-fall until they reached the walls of the battery,
four or five feet above which the rope passed.
" 'Vast heaving. Boys ! " said the Port Admiral,
stepping forward with his usual gallantry, when,
to his utter surprise, he found his youngest
daughter in the person of her thus narrowly
snatched from death. " What ! Vv^hy — eh ! Wliat !
Good Heaven! can it be possible?" exclaimed
the brave veteran, folding her in his arms, while
the tears chased one another over his cheeks,
" Margiee ! my old girl ! my lost darling ! is it
you? ^Vhy, how the devil did you come here?
hang me if I could tell who it was leaping
into my old arms. God bless my heart and soul,
and there's Chatty too ! my poor dear Chatty ! "
But it is unnecessary to detain the reader with
any further detail. All were landed in safety,
Croiser having gone back for Charlotte, and
Rannolini being brought over in the arms of
Nine-fathom-Tim himself. No sooner did Sir
Richard behold the foreigner, than he demanded
310 THE PORT ADMIRAL,
of Tarpaulin in an imder voice, " Who the deuce
may we have here ? "
" A capital chap, and a true bit of stuff, your
honour!" answered Tim, eyeing the old officer,
who had on his old glazed hat, great coat, and
fisherman's boots, with unusual earnestness.
'* ^True stuff' ! Why, odd rabbit, he's a French-
" I'll answer for him. Nevertheless, your ho-
nour. Frenchman or no, he wouldn't make off I
know, and leave a shipmate at low water, as some
folks have done that I've met with."
" You ! Oh ! it is you, you long vagabond ?
and how have you been ? "
" Umph ! pretty well, sir, pretty well, thank
ye— and how's your honour's stem -post by this
time ? '
" Hush ! hush ! you rogue ! and pocket this,"
offering a douceur.
" None of that, thank ye, your honour, I rather
spin a yam with ye agen some day, and toss
off a glass of good Schnapps to your honour's
health, if-so-be it's all the same to you."
" Well, well, if it's there the land lies, you've
A TALE OF THE WAR. 311
only to keep your mouth shut, and you may
drink the sound dry if you Hke." And Sir Richard
quickly joined his idohzed children, too much
rejoiced at their restoration to his arms, to en-
tertain a thought which was not connected with
the engrossing topic.
END OF VOL. II.
G. Woodfall, Printer, Angel Court, Skinner Street, Londoa.